SA's public debt 50% of GDP

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) latest Economic Survey of South Africa 2017, the country’s public debt has risen to just under 50 percent of GDP.

The survey found that government's spending structure is skewed by a large wage bill (35 percent of total GDP in 2016), whereas other OECD and emerging market economy averages are around 14 percent of the total.

Together with debt-servicing (10 percent), the high total is limiting the government's ability to meet the physical and social infrastructure investment needs necessary to unlock higher growth, the report said.