Almost two months ago a weekly newspaper carried the headline “Too broke for Mboweni to budget”. The article said the finance minister had postponed the medium-term budget policy statement because he could not find money to bail out SAA and extend the Covid relief grant.

However, the idea that a country such as SA can be too broke to have a budget is absurd. A national budget does not operate like a household or company budget — a household does not issue the currency it spends...

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