Mboweni said he took a “far dimmer” view of the future than some of his colleagues.
“I don’t think we will be out of this situation in two to three years ... this crisis will be with us for much longer than we think,” he said.
The governor sidestepped questions on whether SA would join the deepening global recession, but acknowledged that growth may contract further after shrinking by 1,8% in the final quarter of this year.
“There is a possibility that we might experience two consecutive quarters of negative growth, which is defined as a recession. But it’s not the end of the world,” he said.
The governor was also adamant that the Bank’s focus was still on price stability, rather than generating economic growth. He said the widening difference between actual and potential growth rates in both the global and local economy would curb inflation.
“Against this backdrop of widening domestic and global output gaps, the balance of risks to the inflation outlook has changed somewhat,” he said.