The mini budget: A bad hangover and other highlights from 'Vrye Weekblad'

Here's what's hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

01 November 2019 - 08:46 By TimesLIVE
Finance minister Tito Mboweni.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni.
Image: Esa Alexander

The hangover after nine years of state capture and bad governance has not improved at all over the past 20 months.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his team moan about the killer headache instead of taking the medicine: it is just too bitter a pill to swallow. This headache is now a chronic migraine and our patient — our country's economy — is on its way to the ICU.

This is how much debt SA has: R3,000,000,000,000, with another R1,000,000,000,000 on its way over the next year or so.

That is nearly double the annual national budget.

These figures drive one to drink, to stay with the hangover metaphor.

There was one speck of light in finance minister Tito Mboweni's medium-term budget policy statement — that an extra R1,3bn was allocated to the NPA. This could help the justice system to get back on its feet and recover political accountability by prosecuting corrupt politicians, officials and businessmen.

Read all about it in this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad.

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Mboweni didn't try to put lipstick on a pig. “Here we stand at the end of winter. The food cupboards are almost bare. We have been shuffling about in old and comfortable brown shoes,” he said. “Our expenditure continues to exceed our revenue. Our national debt is increasing at an unsustainable pace. The economy is not performing well. In these difficult times, we have turned against one another.”

Sadly, he doesn't do much about it. His colleague, Pravin Gordhan, at public enterprises, often makes similar utterances and said something similar this week at a media conference about the way forward for Eskom, but he took just as little action to tackle the issues. 

It is like going to the doctor for a diagnosis for your serious condition and then driving straight back home, past the pharmacy and the hospital, like nothing at all is wrong with you.

Read the full article (FREE) in this week's Vrye Weekblad

Must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

THE WEEK IN POLITICS | Max du Preez writes about bodyguards for everyone, except those who need them; about Uncle Gwede, who really needs to retire now; and the DA's latest gimmick to woo the Afrikaners. 

THE HURT PARTY | The DA's Western Cape leader tells Crystal Orderson how much it hurt when Mmusi Maimane resigned, about his good relationship with Helen Zille and why he threw his hat in the ring in the interim leadership contest. 

CAN'T SEE THE CLIMATE CHANGE FOREST FOR THE TREES | Trees are not going to save you and your children from climate change. It is sadly not that simple, writes Adri Myburgh

FREE TO READ — THE ETIQUETTE OF AFFAIRS | If you know that a married friend is “not eating at home”, as the saying goes, it might put you in an awkward position if you are friends with the spouse, too. What to do? Marita van der Vyver has some advice.  

FREE TO READ — OUR MONEY IS ON RASSIE | Who cares what the experts, the soothsayers and psychics are saying. England might be the favourites in tomorrow's Rugby World Cup (RWC) final in Japan, but we believe in Rassie, writes Adri Kotzé.