It is telling that better-than-expected revenue collection of R99.6bn in 2020/2021 (relative to the 2020 medium-term budget policy statement projection), followed by a further R196.4bn (cumulative) over the next three years, has not altered SA’s long-term negative fiscal dynamics.

Even though the government’s borrowing requirement is expected to decline over the next three years, it remains large. In 2020/2021, the main budget deficit was about R603.4bn (12.3% of GDP). Including loan redemptions, the gross borrowing requirement amounted to R670.3bn (13.6% of GDP). And, though the main budget balance is projected to decline to R389bn (6.5% of GDP) in 2023/2024, redemptions increase to R152.7bn in the outer year from R66.9bn in 2020/2021, leaving a gross borrowing requirement of R541.7bn (9% of GDP) in 2023/2024...

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