President Cyril Ramaphosa will make a number of promises in his state of the nation address on Thursday evening. This auspicious occasion tends to intoxicate South Africans with pride, especially those who believe a new chapter is being written, but they will sober up rapidly when finance minister Tito Mboweni gets his turn at the podium in the sixth parliament next week.

Unlike the state of the nation address, Mboweni’s message will be of an SA in economic crisis, with shocking numbers of low GDP growth, forecast to be just 1% on average for 2019, a soaring debt-to-GDP ratio of 60% and a budget deficit approaching 5%. 

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