Finance minister Tito Mboweni chose to treat the engine of economic growth — the private sector — with kid gloves in his 2020 budget speech. In particular, he avoided trying to bridge the yawning gap between expenditure and revenue with increases to the corporate tax regime.

The understanding that the local economy is fragile and flat on its back was evident in the National Treasury’s forecast of economic growth this year of just 0.9%, "as electricity constraints weigh on production and sentiment"...

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