ZA Confidential attended the budget speech by finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Here are a few highlights….
– He won’t comment on whether he will serve another term. This is “at the pleasure of the President”
– We must create the rough climate for investment. “Perceptions are stronger than facts.”
– The NDP is happening, and can be seen in projects being funded through the Budget
– The Carbon Tax was delayed by a year to give time for it to be properly tied in with other green measures
– The White Paper on the New National Health Insurance scheme, together with funding details, should be with Cabinet before the election
– There will be a crackdown on money being taken from pay packets, as this can often leave people with a fraction of their salary
– Electricity supply challenges are a constraint on the economy.
– It is irresponsible and unwarranted for developed countries to be lectured by the developed world about the need to get their house in order. When the G20 nations were in trouble, there was solidarity
– Appropriate action must be taken against everyone who is guilty of corruption, including those who have abused state contracts
– The decision to cancel government credit cards was a cabinet decision and no one has complained.
– Since limits were placed on accommodation for public servants, hotels and guest houses appear to have come up with offers to meet the new spending ceiling
– Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus accompanied Gordhan and spoke of the weak rand as a shock absorber. She suggested ZA business should benefit from increased competitiveness, and look at the possibility of import substitution for more expensive imported goods.