A hopeful budget as ‘fiscal consolidation’ comes to an end and South Africa’s prospects improve significantly

Austerity. It’s been the course that South Africa, with our highest unemployment rate of the world’s most industrialised nations, has been following for more than a decade as growth rates have faltered and expenditure climbed. It’s a style of “fiscal management” often dismissed by the seven different finance ministers the country has had over the past seven years — quite a number — but the focus on reducing expenditure has been the key performance indicator. 

Within the next couple of years, however, and as long as an upswing in commodity prices remains largely intact, the period of fiscal consolidation is nearing its end.

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