Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene will be in the hot seat like never before when he delivers the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in October. Nene will have to provide some answers to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation two weeks ago, a message that was rather characteristic of the ANC’s economic policy contradictions over the years. On the one hand, Ramaphosa announced that the ANC would amend the constitution to explicitly allow for land expropriation without compensation and on the other said that the government would be crafting a stimulus package to boost economic growth. In the ANC’s typical contradictory fashion, on the one hand it created uncertainty that is inimical to Ramaphosa’s $100bn investment drive; on the other, the stimulus package "based on existing budgetary resources" is a welcome development in the current economic environment. It is like pouring fuel into a flame with one hand and water to douse it with the other.

The mooted stimulus...

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