In the midst of the drama unfolding in the state capture and SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissions of inquiry, it’s understandable that the latest government financing data may have come and gone without much notice or commentary. Facing competition from Themba Maseko’s testimony to the Zondo commission on what happened at the Government Communication and Information System and Bain & Co’s drilling at the Nugent commission, a report on one month of government revenue and expenditure was hardly going to be the centre of attention. It’s one of those releases that, though being among the most important in giving us a snapshot of where the economy is headed, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. And in July it told a sorry tale, which has probably put paid to any prospect of President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering on his pledge of a new stimulus package, announced the same night he announced the ANC’s decision to seek to amend the constitution to make explicit the conditions under which e...

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