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Vol 48 No 5

Published 2nd March 2007

South Africa

A highly political budget

Higher spending and a budget surplus smack a tasty pre-election mixtur

The budget was full of handouts. On 21 February Finance Minister Trevor Manuel dished out tax cuts, paid off apartheid-era debt, and boosted public spending on almost everything from welfare grants to police, from teachers to infrastructure for the 2010 World Cup, as well as more water and electrification projects. Miraculously, he also announced a fiscal surplus for 2007, South Africa's first since 1960.

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