A year has passed since then finance minister Malusi Gigaba released his no-plan medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS). This demonstrated a ballooning debt problem, while offering no solutions. This week’s 2018 MTBPS gives us an opportunity to assess both the state of SA’s finances and the state of the National Treasury. While it certainly doesn’t feel that way to most, there is reason to feel a bit more optimistic about this year’s MTBPS, set to be delivered by our (very) new finance minister, Tito Mboweni. SA is suffering from a severe case of depression right now. After the initial euphoria of Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as president it became clear the governing ANC was more focused on factional infighting than reform and growth stimulus measures. If there are any positives to take from the fact that SA has slumped into recession, it is that it is has forced the government to address the growth deficit head-on.

The stimulus plan announced by Ramaphosa in September ...

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