The IMF has cut its growth forecast for South Africa in 2016 to 0,7% and has revised global growth down to 3,4% for 2016 and 3,6% for 2017.
Below one percent growth is likely to further harm the South African economy, reducing tax receipts and further damaging the country's ability to create enough jobs to keep pace with new entrants to the labour market.
The IMF said: "Advanced economies will see a modest recovery while emerging market and developing economies face the new reality of slower growth."
The IMF's Maurice Obstfeld said: "The coming year is going to be a year of great challenges and policymakers should be thinking about short-term resilience and the ways they can bolster it, but also about the longer term growth prospects."
The IMF said "cyclical and structural forces" were undermining the traditional growth paradigm.
Growth for emerging markets was, nonetheless expected to increase - from 4% in 2015 to 4.3% in 2016. South Africa, however would see growth declining sharply from a projected 1.3% for 2015 to 0,7% for 2016.