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A revenue windfall, improved growth projections and a firm commitment to hold the line on wage increases for public servants enabled finance minister Tito Mboweni to deliver a much improved fiscal picture and a budget that was celebrated by the markets.

While the country still faces a real risk of a sovereign debt crisis if it does not arrest the rising trajectory of debt, which is among the fastest in the world, the improved metrics will make it possible to borrow less over the next three years. The Treasury said that it now hopes the debt-to-GDP ratio will peak at 88.9% in 2025/2026, against projections six months ago for the ratio to reach 95.3%...

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