Five months after he became finance minister, Tito Mboweni faced two major challenges when he delivered his inaugural budget in parliament yesterday. He had to announce plans to revive the economy after a lost decade. However, the budget failed to deliver any plans for the SA economy to reach higher rates of growth and employment, or to fix the state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The allocation of R75bn for the SOEs, of which R69bn will go to Eskom, the appointment of chief reorganisation officers to lead unbundling and fire-sales of state assets, will not be enough to put them on a path to sustainability. The result will be continued low growth, rising levels of unemployment and huge job losses within SOEs. Between 2009 and 2017 SA significantly underperformed when compared with the world economy and developing countries. It grew by 1.6% a year compared with a growth rate of 3.3% for the world economy and 5% for developing countries. Between December 2008 and December 2018 the number o...

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