His predecessors quoted everyone from poet Ben Okri to rapper Kendrick Lamar. But, delivering his medium-term budget speech on Wednesday, finance minister Tito Mboweni turned to the Bible for inspiration, quoting Isaiah chapter 58, verse 12: "Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called repairer of broken walls, restorer of streets with dwellings." Mboweni was talking about the need to repair towns, streets and pipes, and to tackle the corruption, greed and weak governance at municipal level that was hampering this. But he might as well have been talking about the corrupting of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the urgent need to rebuild that institution from the ruins. The full extent of the damage that suspended commissioner Tom Moyane did to Sars during his tenure is only now emerging through the Nugent commission. But it was at the core, too, of Wednesday's much-worse-than-expected budget numbers, which refle...

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