Carol Paton Editor at Large

In the full horror of Wednesday’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), most observers were drawn to one overwhelming conclusion: finance minister Tito Mboweni has no plan to get us out of this mess. 

That is not the case. Mboweni does have a plan and it is very ambitious. He wants to extract the lion’s share of the R50bn a year he needs in savings on the budget from the public sector wage bill. It is a huge ask. In case the stakes are not high enough, as SA’s debt-to-GDP ratio hurtles towards 80% over the next decade and the fiscal deficit hits 6%, it is the only plan on the table.

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