Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is, as I write, in New York for an annual meeting with investors, the people who buy our debt every week and enable the government to finance itself. Gigaba doesn’t have a good story to tell, as we know. He revealed last month that tax collection this year would miss its target by more than R50-billion. By the end of the financial year that number may have grown even further.Ratings downgrades by Moody’s and S&P on November 24 seem a racing certainty. But Gigaba’s burden is not merely the local economy. It is also his own reputation, which hangs by a thread and which only he can repair. As a young and inexperienced minister of public enterprises it was Gigaba who in 2011 officially, and only perhaps unwittingly, launched the Zuma/Gupta state capture project by sweeping away the boards of the state’s biggest companies and replacing them with people who were Gupta proxies. Later, when he ran home affairs, he went out of his way to facilitate work permits...

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