South Africa's Medium-Term Budget Leaves Most Cold

South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has escalated his battle against the country's 1.3 million public servants over their salary increases, writes Ray Mahlaka for the Daily Maverick. November is usually the month in which the government starts negotiations with trade unions representing public servants - including teachers, nurses, doctors and police officers - to review and adjust their salaries for the coming year. But in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, Mboweni proposed a wage freeze for public servants over the next three years to support his ambition of cutting government expenditure and debt, which is crucial to avoid a full-blown debt crisis. The country's total debt is R4-trillion, the budget deficit - which is the shortfall between revenue and expenditure -  is at 15.7% or R761.1-billion, and gross debt is at 81.8% of the gross domestic product in 2020, going up to 95.3% in 2025.

South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tables the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, October 28, 2020.

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