The first budget speech before freely elected MPs in a democratic South Africa fell to Derek Keys, its first finance minister. He spoke on behalf of a government of national unity with Nelson Mandela at its head and the leader of the opposition, FW de Klerk one of two deputy presidents. The other was Thabo Mbeki.He began with the words: "It is my duty and privilege to present to this House and to the Nation the proposals of the Government of National Unity for the Budget for the year ending 31 March 1995."The decision to keep Keys on as finance minister was a strategic one which had the intention of re-assuring the markets and the global investment community that there would be no wholesale abandonment of fiscal discipline.Keys was concerned about the rising budget deficit and he pledged "a continuation of the general structure of taxation set in place last year" which would allow for a reduction in the deficit."For this to come to pass, however, continued control of the level of e...

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