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Important decisions were rolled over to the annual budget in February but the strong commitment to fiscal discipline displayed by finance minister Enoch Godongwana in his maiden medium-term budget on Thursday will certainly boost confidence in the country.

Two issues that investors and ratings agencies watch closely both moved in the right direction, showing that we are on the right path and need to stick to it. First, the government’s consolidated deficit is expected to reach 7.8% of GDP in 2021/2022, down from February’s forecast of 9.3%, and it is expected to decline to 4.9% of GDP by 2024/2025. Second, the gross loan debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to reach 69.9% in 2021/2022 and rise to 78.1% in 2025/2026, well down from February’s forecast of 81.9% in 2021/2022 and a peak in 2025/2026 of 88.9%...

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