The 2018 budget speech has come and gone, forcing Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to adopt the skills of a funambulist. The tightrope walk he had to do was never going to please everyone. His defence is that we have a revenue shortfall of R48-billion thanks to slow economic growth and slower tax collections. In addition, his previous boss announced fee-free higher education and training in December, necessitating a large new allocation of R57-billion over the next three years. The DA lamented that the budget "hammers the poor and is a legacy of Jacob Zuma's disastrous management of the economy of South Africa, as the increase in taxes is symptomatic of a government which has failed to plan ahead and make the necessary cost-cutting measures to shield ordinary citizens from poverty". The EFF viewed the budget as still committed to the protection of capitalist accumulation - proven by the government's "refusal to raise corporate income tax instead of punishing consumers by raising value...

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