The big question after finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget on Wednesday will be how ratings agency Moody’s Investors Services views the limited fiscal consolidation outlined in the numbers, despite the government’s efforts to tackle its wage bill and boost growth.

Though the state is proposing R160bn in wage cuts — as part of overall spending reductions of 260bn — the budget deficit and debt trajectory have continued to rise, not least because economic growth has continued to disappoint...

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