President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration has frequently been criticised for the slow pace of reform, particularly as national utility Eskom has slipped deeper into crisis. However, the coronavirus pandemic has so far been widely seen as strengthening his political position, while dampening the impact of Moody’s downgrade of the sovereign debt rating to below investment grade. This could provide an opportunity for pushing through reforms and seeking more international support. A $1bn loan from the New Development Bank has already been secured, while ministers have mooted support from the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
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