Cape Town - South Africa has committed $2bn (about
R16.58bn) to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) firewall meant to
prevent future financial crises, the Treasury said on Tuesday.
President Jacob Zuma committed some of South Africa's
reserves at the G20 summit, a meeting of the world's greatest economies, in Los
Cabos, Mexico, spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane said.
"The funds used for this purpose would be considered
part of South Africa's foreign reserves," he said.
"They will be drawn down only if they are needed and
only after other resources have been depleted. The funds will be invested and
Participating countries with no way out of a financial
crisis would access the so-called firewall fund through a temporary loan with
conditions, and not purchase agreements to the IMF's general resources account.
Sikhakhane said the commitment of funds was on the premise
that SA's voting power and quota shares in the IMF were reformed, as agreed to
Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj, speaking from Mexico,
said Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were set to release a joint
statement shortly stating their expectations.
At the G20 summit in Cannes last year, world leaders agreed
to increase the resources of the IMF as a backstop in the event of further
deterioration in the eurozone situation.
It was hoped the emergency reserves would stave off the risk
of another financial crisis, which would likely lead to a sharp decrease in
global growth and rising unemployment.
G20 countries and other IMF members agreed in April this
year to commit about $430bn to the special fund, which would be available to
all IMF members and not earmarked for a certain region.