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No major tax hikes but budget fails to deliver any relief...

Catherine Wijnberg | CEO | Fetola | mail me | The 2024 budget speech was a fine balancing act between stabilising the country’s debt burden...

Serfdom awaits if we do not allow poor South Africans to...

South Africans have been slowly marching towards serfdom, and unless something drastic changes, this march will continue. With this year’s budget speech on the horizon, in an election year, the country and the world will get a glimpse as to how bad things could be in the short to medium term.

A brave new market for transactional banking

Before we can unpack the operating challenges and opportunities in transactional banking, we need to emphasise this point. The global economy has faced a re-set of sorts as inflation has spiked higher and global interest rates have risen from historical lows. It is certainly not ‘business as usual’ in the world of financial services and banking.

Government wants to get off the greylist by 2024

In a recent newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa knows what needs to be done to be removed from the greylist and that the fundamentals are in place. Eight areas of strategic deficiency have been identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which government needs to urgently address in order to get off the greylist.

The trouble with inefficient public spending

“While spending on government consumption has been held down over the last ten years, demand for public services has increased substantially. Meanwhile, as public employment in health, education and criminal justice has stagnated, employment by private companies providing the same services has surged.

Debt doom or bond boom?

Last year’s Budget Speech was delivered in front of a full house in the National Assembly. Politicians, journalists and special guests mingled before and after the speech. There were hugs, handshakes and back slaps aplenty. Next week’s version takes place in a world that has completely changed.

Interest rates on hold at 3.5%, but committee preferences remain mixed

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept interest rates steady at 3.5% at the scheduled September 2020 interest rate-setting meeting despite downwardly revised growth and inflation views. This decision tied in with the view of 15 out of the 25 analysts surveyed by Reuters, while we were one of the ten favouring a 25-basis point cut.

Latest GDP shocker the straw that will break the camel’s back?

Latest GDP figures have laid bare the grim reality of COVID-19’s economic effects, revealing an unprecedented 51% decline in economic activity in the second quarter of this year (quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised).

Awakening the economy from COVID-induced coma

President Cyril Ramaphosa presented the five-level, risk-adjusted strategy that will guide South Africa’s emergence from lockdown. As the finer points of the strategy were shared, it became clearer how - and when - certain sectors will once again gear up into activity.

IMF funding: the benefits to SA’s investment outlook

A loan from the IMF could instil investor confidence – with or without conditions. The previous announcement by the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni that the South African Government is considering approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn quite a bit of criticism.


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