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A budget full of holes

The political clouds have lifted. It’s all broad highlands and sunny skies in South Africa right now. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s annual State of the Nation address has been widely welcomed by political forecasters as a reassuring commitment to a private sector-driven economy. This week, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s first budget speech was hailed by many as the first tangible wind in Ramaphosa’s sails. And what’s not to like? The minister had a cool revenue windfall of nearly R200 billion, of which R182 billion was a tax benefit from the unexpected rise in commodity prices. Of course it could have been…

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