May 21 is Tax Freedom Day, when South Africans stop working for the state and start working for themselves. This year it falls two days later than in 2020, in which it occurred one day later than in 2019.

This is alarming because it means the economy contracted. It means the state is consuming an ever-greater share of economic growth. And it comes in a week where Moody’s Investors Service issued a stern warning about slow reforms leading to further downgrades.

And while trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel attempts to micromanage the economy through import substitution or localisation quotes and mandatory pay disclosure, revealing the true extent to which the government is truly out of touch with what it takes to build a business, grow one out of nothing to create value for the risk capital providers and create jobs and growth for the economy in return.

At least the SA Reserve Bank governor seems to understand what is needed. In the media conference after keeping the repo rate unchanged at a record low 3.5% on Thursday, he reiterated that the stance was accommodative because the MPC believed that inflation was contained, that "there is slack in this economy and this economy could do with some support".

To review the week that was Michael Avery is joined by Warwick Lucas, chief investment officer at Galileo Asset Managers; Raymond Parsons, professor in the School of Business and Governance at North West University; and Nazmeera Moola, head of SA investments at Ninety One.

Michael Avery takes a look at this weeks’ leading headlines


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