There’s a saying that when something seems too good to be true it usually is. Unfortunately, that applies to the 2023 national budget, which has received plaudits but on closer inspection provides a misleading picture of SA’s fiscal health.

On the face of it the budget accelerates the pace of fiscal consolidation while also saving Eskom, avoiding tax increases, protecting pro-poor spending, and channelling more funds towards infrastructure and front-line services...

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