As the country gears up for the budget speech today, South Africans are hoping for a reprieve to ease the households and businesses out of the current financial distress. Former Statistician-General, Dr Pali Lehohla, says the government has not done much to cushion the poor, and the state has failed to utilise administered prices effectively to protect prices in the consumer basket, including electricity and fuel. He says the production of energy by Eskom for example, should have been approached as a developmental investment instead of the user-pay system that was adopted, and free public facilities such as general hospitals are at the point of near collapse due to poor upkeep and maintenance. Former Statistician-General Dr Pali Lehohla joins us virtually.
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