Budget Review – Wrestling the hippo

Government and ANC ideology are a perpetual constraint on business. Take mining for example, the flywheel of this economy. Electricity is the number one issue. The Mining Charter, transport and exploration are second-order issues. Instead of acting, we score more own goals. Against this backdrop, this felt like a no-nonsense sort of budget. There were no grand analogies with hardy drought resistant aloes or harking back to Manuel’s plums. There was also no mention of Eskom’s debt. But in the main, a budget that delivers reduced bond issuance, some small tax relief as opposed to the feared tax increases, and offers some more detail on PPPs and broader reorientation of government spending to more productive areas with higher fiscal multipliers, should be welcomed. Michael Avery speaks to Annabel Bishop, Investec Chief Economist; Peter Attard-Montalto, head of capital markets research at Intellidex; And Keith Engel, the Chief Executive of SA Institute of Tax Professionals; about the good the bad and the ugly of the 2021 Budget.