Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s 2020/2021 budget painted a bleak picture of economic growth, which the Treasury expects to slow further in the coming years, eroding the state’s ability to get a handle on its finances.

The worsening growth outcome, alongside deeper revenue shortfalls and draining support for state-owned entities (SOEs), is one of the main reasons that the government’s debt trajectory does not stabilise in the coming years — despite Mboweni announcing spending cuts of R261bn, which include a cut of R160bn in the state’s wage bill...

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