The Rational Alternative – Alec Hogg

When then Finance Minister Trevor Manuel introduced an October “Mini Budget”, he was keen to end the annual surprise factor. The intention was to keep us all better informed with official guidance around finances and economic policy twice a year – and doing so within a three year cycle. It worked well, helping to smooth away shocks the nation previously braced itself for every Budget Day.

But tomorrow’s “Mini Budget” is a lot more than a mere update. With increasingly aggressive pronouncements, the second term of the Zuma Administration has deviated away from the reconciliatory and market-friendly approach of the past. Overlay that with stalled economic growth, rocketing State borrowing and a slide in the country’s rating on important global indices and we shouldn’t be surprised business leaders are switching capital offshore, reducing local investment to a trickle. We are at a key juncture.

In the light of all this, tomorrow’s Mini-Budget has become Maxi-Important. Are we going to see Government and Business come closer together? How does the Zuma Administration intend funding its ambitious social and infrastructural spending? Rhodes Tax Professor Matthew Lester will be in “lock-up” tomorrow morning, working through all the details and compiling expert commentary. All of which will be published on the moment Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene starts speaking. As a special service, we will email you the highlights and his speech as soon as it is available. Watch your inbox just after 2pm tomorrow.

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