JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has fought back at critics of his recently released growth plan.
But he's acknowledged that Treasury over-estimated the economy’s growth potential for this year.
This week ratings agency Moody's lowered its growth forecast for the country from one percent to 0.7 percent.
The finance minister says this has limited the scope for stimulus and raised debt.
The resultant uncertainty has kept investment subdued.
“The assumptions underlying the forecasts have clearly changed ... the actual deficit now is probably much higher,” said Mboweni.
Government says bailouts of inefficient state companies are putting pressure on growth and spending.
“We must re-focus our economy on agriculture …but we also have to continue to support Eskom, because without electricity there is no growth.”
Some economists predict the growth rate will be 0.7 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 0,6 percent.