JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says the country's economy will shrink by 7.2% in 2020.
This will be the biggest decline in 90 years.
Mboweni presented his supplementary budget speech amid the COVID-19 crisis on Wednesday.
"Our early projection is that gross national debt will be close to R 4-trillion 81.1% of GDP by the end of this fiscal year.
This is compared to an estimated R3.56-trillion or 65.6% of GDP in February. Without external support, these borrowings will almost entirely consume all our national domestic savings leaving no space for investment by everyone else," he said.
Mboweni also says joblessness is the government's greatest challenge.
The unemployment rate increased by one percentage point to 30.1% during the first quarter.
"The unemployment rate in our country is the greatest challenge. The economic support package sets aside R1-billion for a multi-year comprehensive response to our jobs emergency."
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has a big task ahead of him. He will deliver his emergency budget speech on Wednesday.