“I’m on a mission to fix my own mistake,” jokes Ismail Momoniat, the acting director-general of the National Treasury. “Before I leave the public service, I want to have finished the review of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), so that we can fix the minor problems in it.”

Momoniat, a former maths lecturer who studied at the London School of Economics, was one of the architects of that law, implemented in April 2000, which was meant to introduce far greater accountability in how taxpayer money is spent. ..

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