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Six months ago, Colin Coleman, a former regional Goldman Sachs CEO, annoyed SA’s economic orthodoxy by punting a R100bn basic income grant (BIG) of R800 a month for SA’s unemployed, and further fiscal stimulus measures, funded partly out of windfall commodity-based revenues.

The National Treasury rejected this line of thinking when it opted in February for a temporary 12-month extension of the R350 a month social relief of distress (SRD) grant at a total cost of R44bn. It said the commodity boom was likely to wane over the medium term and it would be imprudent to fund a permanent increase in expenditure off cyclical commodity revenues...

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