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'Close the hippo's mouth': Mboweni warns citizens to live within their means

The Finance Minister revealed Treasury estimates suggesting revenue for the year would contract by more than R300 billion.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: @TreasurySA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warned the nation would face a crisis in four years if we didn't live within our means now.

Speaking during a webinar to celebrate the centenary of Stellenbosch University's Economics Department, Mboweni revealed Treasury estimates suggesting revenue for the year would contract by more than R300 billion.

At the same time, there's pressure to increase spending.

He likened the situation to the gaping mouth of a hippopotamus and said it's a key priority to close the mouth or face a serious crisis down the line.

“We can no longer live beyond our means, we have to close the mouth of the hippopotamus. Or else we are in trouble.”

But amid the warnings of crisis, the minister said there is some hopeful news too.

“I’m beginning to see some green shoots in the economy.”

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