World Bank Talks With South Africa Stall Over State Company Bailouts

World Bank officials have told South Africa’s government it will need to reduce its wage bill to secure a loan and that it doesn’t want the money to be used to bail out insolvent state companies, a person familiar with the situation said, Bloomberg News reported.12 Those demands have stalled negotiations on the loan that began in April, the person said, asking not to be identified because the content of the discussions have not been made public. Earlier this year, the South African government said it was seeking $2 billion from the bank, but later said the World Bank had $900 million available. A World Bank spokesperson said the bank was not seeking to impose conditions around aid to state companies or trimming the wage bill, and that the $2 billion figure was incorrect. The spokesperson also said the bank hasn’t lent any other money to South Africa this year. Read more