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South Africa's government has made impressive strides in building the country's economy since coming to power in 1994. In its 2007/08 budget, the National Treasury projected the country's first surplus in recent memory, at 0.6% of GDP, a far cry from the deficit it inherited from the former apartheid regime.

For the Treasury, these changed circumstances have given rise to a different set of priorities. "The budget surplus has led to new thinking on the role of debt management," says Anthony Juli

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