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Did the Budget pull South Africa back from the brink of fiscal collapse?

In October last year, The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Financial Mail Economics Editor Claire Bisseker about her book “On the Brink: South Africa’s Political and Fiscal Cliff-Hanger”.

Now that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has presented the Budget, Whitfield asked her what she now has to say about South Africa’s struggling economy.

Scroll down to listen to the interview (and/or read comments from it).

Description of "On the Brink" on Amazon:

Few countries in transition have managed to get a grip on their public finances as well as South Africa did after 1994.

Now, just more than 20 years later, the nation’s credibility and the democratic project lie in tatters as we teeter on the brink of a political and fiscal cliff.

Business confidence and investment have evaporated along with clean, accountable government, causing South Africa to be downgraded to junk status, crushing the country’s growth potential and pushing it towards a debt trap.

How did we land up in this mess, and can we pull back from the brink?

Claire Bisseker, the award-winning economics editor of the “Financial Mail”, unpacks the crisis in this accessible and highly readable guide to what makes our economy tick.

Yes, we’ve taken a decisive step back from the brink.

Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

It’s a brutal budget… but it was a necessary budget…

Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

The VAT increase was the clincher, from the ratings agencies' points of view. They could’ve hiked VAT by 2%, and that may still come… The problem is free education and NHI is not costed yet… The only way to pay for it is another VAT increase…

Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

There is only one way out… and that is to get the growth rate up, and to reduce the size of Government…

Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

We’ve taken the right fork. What is going to be decisive now is the new Cabinet… Ratings agencies will take their cue from these appointments…

Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

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This article first appeared on 702 : Did the Budget pull South Africa back from the brink of fiscal collapse?


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