Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene is gearing up to announce an economic reform package in October but a tight fiscus has left him little room to manoeuvre. Data released last week showed that the country entered a recession in the second quarter for the first time in almost a decade. This will see the National Treasury come under increased scrutiny at the medium-term budget policy statement at the end of October. The recession had posed “additional downside risks” to the tax revenue projected at the beginning of 2018 as well as the Treasury’s growth expectation of 1.5%, Nene said at a conference hosted by the Government Employees Pension Fund on Monday. However, the reform package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July would “reignite growth”, said Nene, who provided no details on how it will be funded. Citadel chief economist Maarten Ackerman said the recession would see the Treasury revise down its growth forecast well below 1%. “Everyone is poorer, there’s less tax, you’re u...

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