SA Money
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South Africa's approach towards the dreaded "fiscal cliff" has been a hot-button issue in Parliament this week. A Wits University professor told the Standing Committee on Finance that the country would run out of money by 2042. But other experts believe a disaster is much closer than that.

When could South Africa "run out of money"?

Janie Rossouw said that Mzansi has 23 years left before it all goes to hell in a hand-basket, explaining that the "exorbitant" cost of ministries is one of the most punishing features of the national budget.

The EFF is calling for the government to scrap deputy ministers in an attempt to combat this wild spending. A total of 35 people in these positions make-up a wage bill of R68 950 000 a year.

What ministers get paid

Over a five-year term, that would amount to almost R345 million - that's just under the total amount President Cyril Ramaphosa released for a stimulus package last September. So scrapping deputies could end up saving us the near-equivalent of a domestic bailout.

The professor also lambasted the failures of Eskom, claiming that the SOE had pushed us "closer than ever" towards the cliff-edge. However, it would actually be a luxury to make it to 2042, according to Fanie Brink.

Five-year warning for South Africa

The independent agricultural economist suggests that exponential government spending and a stagnating economy means that 2024 could be the year our cash reserves run dry:
"Government spending increases every year uncontrollably, but it does so at an exponential rate. That will also increase the debt burden to the same extent in the near future. The only solution to these problems is a total return to a capitalist economic system, which encourages healthy growth.

"The chance that the ANC government, as well as the politicians and the 'economic specialists' will ever understand and accept it, is clearly not a strong possibility. That is why the ANC government will only need at most another five years to destroy the economy and the country." -Fanie Brink
Brink criticised Rossouw for being too optimistic if anything. He claims that the 2042 projection provides the ANC with a comfort zone and actually gives a better perception of the economy than what he believes to be true.