Without austerity, fiscus won’t revive
THE COST to the government of keeping voters compliant has become too large to maintain.
The fact that only two items – that is, salaries of an everincreasing number of civil servants and social grants – wipe out 56 percent of this country’s revenue budget, has forced Gauteng to take austerity measures.
At the tabling of Gauteng’s medium-term budget policy last week, MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy, while trying to put a positive spin on her gov- ernment’s performance, delivered the harsh reality that austerity is the only way to survive in the face of a fiscal cliff.
She indicated that we are at a crossroads.
The current account deficit and rising public debt highlight the need to spend less yet maintain fiscal stimulus to ensure service delivery.
She then delivered the bad news that over the next three years, budgets would be cut across all three levels of government.
The implication of this is a drop in standards of already mediocre service delivery.
The MEC highlighted that besides reducing budgets, the Gauteng provincial government would, in addition, increase spending on infrastructure, attempt to reduce corruption and try to generate additional revenue.
One wonders to what extent these undertakings are mere platitudes.
It is common cause that cadre deployment and poor management skills make it highly unlikely that the government can make any real difference when it comes to implementation.
The ANC has taken us down a rocky path over the past 20 years and it seems as if we are about to reach a dead end.
Very few people have confidence in the so-called radical interventions espoused by the ruling party.