Hot off the press, our report on Minister Pravin “Whew, dodged a bullet there!” Gordhan’s almost recent budget. What to say, what to say. OK. We’ll say what everyone else said, including Maria Ramos of Barclays Africa Group Ltd (soon, tellingly, to offload its ownership of ABSA) and Nedbank CEO Mike Brown: “The minister did a solid job in very difficult circumstances.” Will the budget be austere enough to stave off the carrion-fowl of the ratings agencies? Too soon to tell according to almost everyone else, although many commentators seem doubtful. But everyone agrees that a downgrade to junk would be a bad thing, causing the rand to collapse further, interest rates to spike and, perhaps, a recession to stalk the land. And then you would see the austerity the markets were hoping for, wouldn’t you just. And if it’s a snappy, at-a-glance view of the highlights you’re after, click here.
Comment: Truly, the Minster made the best of a bad job, and the latest brawl with SARS notwithstanding, it’s good to have him back at the wheel.