Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

South Africa FM: Debt is the Hippo Eating the Next Generation’s Inheritance

Tito Mboweni, South African Minister of Finance, delivers his 2020 Budget Speech in the South African Parliament, on February 26, 2020, in Cape Town. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni issued a dire warning to the parliament on Wednesday about the country’s debt crisis. With South Africa’s debt-to-GDP levels breaking new records this year and forecast to grow to 82% in the next few months, Minister Mboweni compared the debt to a hippo that will eat everything in its path. “Our Herculean task is to close the mouth of the hippopotamus. It is eating our children’s inheritance. We need to stop it now,” he said.

In contrast to most other African countries, South Africa does not borrow much from China and other external creditors. Instead, it uses its own capital markets to issue bonds. (DAILY MAVERICK)

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.