Tax collections are holding up much better than the National Treasury’s gloomy October projections, raising the prospect that the government’s revenue shortfall may be smaller than expected when finance minister Tito Mboweni tables the budget next month — and that a vaccine tax might not be needed, economists say.

With the economy tanking, the Treasury estimated in October’s medium-term budget statement that revenue collections would fall a gaping R313bn short of February’s budget estimates, driving up the government’s borrowing requirement and making it impossible to stabilise its spiralling debt burden without unprecedented expenditure cuts...

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