The budget showed further erosion in fiscal strength, credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said. In a statement following the 2019 budget speech on Wednesday, Lucie Villa, a Moody’s senior credit officer and lead sovereign analyst for the country, said: “SA’s budget highlights the government’s limited fiscal flexibility amid a challenging economic environment. The budget shows a further erosion in fiscal strength after the October medium-term budget policy statement already pointed to wider deficits for longer.”

Finance minister Tito Mboweni painted a bleak picture of SA’s ballooning debt as he announced a massive cash injection into Eskom. Treasury will allocate R23bn a year for the next three years to the power utility in an attempt to support the urgent operational changes planned.

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