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Having listened to more budget vote speeches than is probably healthy in the past two weeks, we seem to have run into the classic government problem.

It was like being in a pick-and-mix sweet shop, though one wonders if there was any central control of the messaging. You could take what you wanted. The bullish bond investor — the line from the Treasury on a sacrosanct fiscal framework; the bullish infrastructure funders — the big numbers flying around (and work on water especially); the bearish equity investor — the referenced blockages to spectrum auctions; the perplexed offshore international financial institution — the madness of minister Gwede Mantashe’s call to be an oil and gas superpower. ..

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