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South Africa’s Ramaphosa Calls for Compromise on Budget Goals

President Cyril Ramaphosa replies to the Debate on the State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Cape Town. The President delivered the State of the Nation Address on 13 February 2020 to a Joint Sitting of Parliament, where he outlined the action plan towards placing the economy on a path of recovery and building the capability of the state. 20 February 2020. (Photo: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said compromise and trade-offs will be needed to achieve the goals set out in last week’s budget.

The plan presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will contain spending, increase revenue and encourage economic growth, while helping rein in “precarious and unsustainable” state debt, Ramaphosa said Monday in his weekly statement. Containing the public-sector wage bill is “critical” to stabilizing state finances, he said.

“We are fixing our public finances to make inclusive growth and job creation possible,” Ramaphosa said. “Such times call for us to be realistic, not dogmatic. They call for cooperation, not conflict. Compromises and trade-offs will have to be made.”

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