Speaking to journalists after Wednesday's budget, governor No 10 - as finance minister Tito Mboweni likes to call current Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago - congratulated governor No 8 on a "bold" budget. And in many ways it was. It provided three crucial signals. Yet it is subject to at least three key risks. The first signal was, simply, the vaccine. There can be no more economically potent way of spending taxpayers' money than to fund a mass vaccine rollout. And after all the ludicrous talk about having no money to pay for it, Mboweni made it clear the government will fund it straight out of the budget, and made available up to R19bn to cover this.

The second signal was that the budget largely saved, rather than spent, its R99bn revenue "windfall". This is how much more it now expects to collect for the current fiscal year, compared to its bleaker numbers in October's medium-term budget. And though it still leaves a massive revenue shortfall, the relative overrun enab...

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