Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s bleak supplementary budget  centred on the yawning gap, or as he put it, the “hippopotamus mouth” between where SA's debt is headed if we do nothing, and where it needs to be, to avoid bankruptcy.

But an equally important “hippopotamus mouth” that government must close is the gap between the “fiscal reckoning” laid out in the supplementary budget, and what spending cuts and structural reforms the state actually executes.

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