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Vol 49 No 5

Published 29th February 2008

South Africa

Politics of the budget

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s 2008 budget was a more powerful statement on Thabo Mbeki’s presidency than the President’s own speech. In his State of the Nation address to the National Assembly on 8 February, President Mbeki had faced rejection by his own party and he apologised for such failings as January’s debilitating electricity cuts, which badly dented his and the government’s hard-won reputation for economic competence. However, there were no apologies in Manuel’s budget, which reasserted the orthodox principles upon which he and Mbeki believe that South Africa’s economy should be run.

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