In a discussion about the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) with a large bond investor last week, we lamented the fragility of SA’s fiscal policy framework.

The weaknesses in central government finances — summarised as high borrowing and debt levels — have been well discussed. However, the difficulties in the state more broadly, including in the provinces, municipalities and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), add a frightening “house of cards” dimension to the fiscal outlook...

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