Budget reviews are generally good platforms from which to announce plans to boost economic growth, create jobs and alleviate poverty. They are also good mines of information and are often read over and over again to get those important bits the finance minister did not mention directly in his speech before Parliament. The Budget Review for 2017-18 is no exception. Tucked away, almost at the back of this lengthy document, is an update on public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements and the role they have played in meeting infrastructural development objectives. It remains compelling evidence for what the government and the private sector can accomplish together. This was seen as recently as 2016, when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan brokered some détente with corporate SA in averting a downgrade in the country’s credit rating. While this risk remains, damage inflicted should be seen in the context of shifting higher the cost of the debt the Treasury has to service and the consequenc...

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