Carol Paton Writer at Large

As President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stimulus and rescue package did not contain any fiscally stimulating measures, it is doubtful it will have much effect on short-term growth. The point of a fiscal stimulus is to put money into the economy fast; preferably money that will get spending and investment going, and better still be the kind of investment that reduces the cost of doing business through improved infrastructure and economic network services. This package puts in no new money and doesn’t alter the composition of spending in the budget, leaving it skewed in favour of consumption, particularly wages, rather than investment. But, as Ramaphosa said: "We are having to deal with what we have", and clearly the pressure was too much – especially from business and the investor community — that SA stick within the fiscal framework and not be seen to yield to economic populism. And so, dealing with what we have, the package is good for business and in several regards — visa regulation, mini...

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