Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan did not use the words but Cabinet did: austerity measures. In adverse economic conditions, the mention of the two words by a country's finance minister can send the markets into shock.
It means dramatic cutbacks in spending to reduce budget deficits. Luckily, in the current context, the austerity measures announced in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday relates mainly to the binging habits of government bigwigs.
But can this belt-tightening exercise change the mind-set of the high-flyers in the public service where delusions of grandeur result in an ability to tell right from wrong?
The former Inkatha Freedom Party premier of KwaZulu-Natal between 1999 and 2004 Lionel Mtshali was constantly in the news back then for all the wrong reasons. As head of government in the province, Mtshali felt entitled to certain privileges which should be funded by the taxpayer.
So he had a private jet at his beck and call to fly him between Durban and Pietermaritzburg - reducing the 40-minute journey to work by road to 15 minutes by air. It cost the taxpayer at least R12,000 at a time for the commute, which happened at least four times...