Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 10, No 1 (2018)

Public Debt Dynamics in Emerging Market Economies: The Experience of South Africa

Talknice Saungweme, Nicholas M Odhiambo


Objective – This paper discusses the composition, structure and progression of central government debt in emerging economies, critically analysing the experience of South Africa. Approach – The paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the public debt reforms, public debt trends, and public debt challenges and associated debt management practices in South Africa between 1960 and 2015Results – The paper found that South Africa’s domestic public debt is mostly composed of long-term bonds and partly of treasury bills. In addition, the study found that a combination of current account deterioration and the subsequent budget deficit financing between 1980 and 1993 were among the major causes of exponential increases in public debt stocks in South Africa. Implications/Recommendations – The study recommends the government of South Africa to continuously monitor its debt structure and composition to avoid debt explosion in the long run.


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