SDG MOMENT: SOUTH AFRICA - Economic growth serves as an enabler for the SDGs in the short term, while over time the SDG agenda itself becomes a catalyst for inclusive and low-carbon growth pathways. South Africa is one of 65 economies out of 186 globally that are in mitigation mode in 2023 and projected to remain within it in 2024 and 2025.1 In a context of high unemployment, elevated poverty rates, and high-income inequality, the policy space for achieving the SDGs is limited. This puts pressure on mitigating the impact of economic downturns on the most vulnerable households, informal workers, youth, and MSMEs. South Africa's slow economic growth cycle will continue to be dependent on carbon emissions, as the country's carbon emissions intensity of GDP only changes by an annual rate of 2% under the current conditions. This pace of economic growth, on the other hand, is not expected to exert a noticeable effect on lowering the incidence of poverty, leaving it virtually unchanged in the short-term. Hence, significant distributional challenges remain to overcome this stagnation of progress. Moving forward, the urgency to address climate change, reduce inequalities, poverty and unemployment has never been greater. Guided by SDGs and the national priorities, South Africa should continue to innovate, adapt, and scale up efforts to accelerate progress towards a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future.