When Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba presents his first medium-term budget policy speech next month, he'll be walking the tightrope of what is still a fragile economy that will need to grow by at least 1% over the remaining two quarters of the year if it is to at least match the paltry growth rates of 2016. Data earlier this week showed economic growth rebounding in the second quarter, taking South Africa out of recession thanks to improvements in agriculture, financial services and mining. But uncertainty around the economy remains. Business confidence is at a low last seen in 1985, the year in which apartheid-era president PW Botha delivered his Rubicon speech, dashing hopes of change and further isolating the country. The encroaching "fourth industrial revolution" continues to add to the country's unemployment burden, the highest among the world's leading emerging markets. This will more than likely raise the state's social grants bill - even though it may have already reached its...

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