Despite massive spending cuts of R261bn, this is not an austerity budget, finance minister Tito Mboweni says. Rather it is a case of choosing to eat pilchards and not rump steak.

For the first time since the late 1990s, non-interest expenditure will contract in real terms at a rate of 0.4%. SA has been able, through most of the democratic period, to grow spending on social services strongly and even in recent years has ensured that education and health have grown faster than inflation, and welfare has been spared budget cuts...

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