Country Analysts

Iraj Abedian
Former Member, President’s Panel of Economic Advisors

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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South Africa is unlikely to need IMF funding – for now
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 23 Aug 2019
There has been much speculations and political angst recently about whether or not South Africa will need to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance. This has come about due to South Africa’s mounting fiscal pressures, which in turn are mostly the result of the cou...

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The President signs into law the new credit bill, pushing for consumer debt write-off
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 21 Aug 2019
South African consumers have been hard hit by the effects of the country’s current tough economic environment, which is compounded by increasing living costs and rising unemployment. This has not only resulted in increasing total consumer debt, but has also led to total savings' being negatively ...

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South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI): Is it feasible and at what cost to the struggling economy?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 14 Aug 2019
In the National Development Plan (NDP), it is stipulated that by 2030, South Africa’s health system should offer “quality care to all, free at the point of service, or paid for by publicly provided or privately funded insurance”. As such, to ensure provision of universal quality healthcare servic...

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The High Court rules in favor of the president over the public protector ‒ twice in a row
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 13 Aug 2019 1 response
Following the Public Protector’s (PP) (Ms. Mkhwebane) findings that the President (Mr. Ramaphosa) misled Parliament as well as the nation by not disclosing knowledge about (the sources of) donations for his 2017 ANC presidential campaign, Mr. Ramaphosa applied for an urgent interdict against Ms. ...

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President Ramaphosa’s battles with the Public Protector deepen
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Aug 2019
​Months have gone by since the battle between President Ramaphosa and the Public Protector, Ms Mkhwebane started. The Public Protector alleged the President of breaking the Executive Ethics Code following his response to the Parliament about donations to his Presidential campaign from BOSASA (now...

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South Africa’s fiscal woes magnify as Eskom losses balloon
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 31 Jul 2019
South Africa’s widening budget deficit on the back of lower GDP growth, coupled with increased spending (including government’s financial support for Eskom) as well as the downward adjustment of GDP growth for 2019 led Fitch Ratings Agency to revise the country’s outlook to negative from stable (...

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South Africa’s economy – still struggling to take off
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 25 Jul 2019
* South Africa’s growth: President Ramaphosa’s number one priority is to stimulate the South African economy, an economy that has been in the doldrums, growing by less than 2% in the past five years. This is especially important as some of the country’s main socio-economic scourges have either...

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President Ramaphosa's Challenges Getting Close and Personal
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 19 Jul 2019
Ever since assuming the high office of the country, President Ramaphosa has not been short of challenges. Aside from the enormous task of turning the economy around and restoring the integrity and operational efficacy of the machinery of the state which had been left in a poor financial and admin...

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South Africa’s interest rate cut finally arrives
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Jul 2019
On Thursday (18 July 2019), the nation waited with bated breath on the announcement of the interest rate decision by the Governor of the Reserve Bank (SARB), Mr Lesetja Khanyago. There was a general expectation for the central bank to cut interest rates by 25 basis points after keeping them uncha...

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