With social media abuzz about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “missing” R500bn stimulus package, South Africans should start asking questions about another R1.6bn commitment that has vanished into thin air. Since he became president there has been a disturbing trend whereby Ramaphosa makes big announcements when he is under pressure, which Treasury later cancels. This makes one wonder whether SA has a parallel government.
In September 2018, soon after Stats SA announced that there had been a recession in the first two quarters, Ramaphosa announced the establishment of a R400bn “blended finance” infrastructure fund to kick-start the economy. However, during the February 2020 budget — 17 months after the president’s announcement — the Treasury made no allocation to the infrastructure fund for this financial year.