Gov­ern­ment to cut its costs

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba has promised to stick to fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion – while the coun­try has slipped into a re­ces­sion.

Gi­gaba told Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day that de­part­ments will have to do with less and that he would con­tinue with cost-cut­ting mea­sures over the next few years.

He con­ceded, how­ever, that the con­trac­tion of the econ­omy by 0.7% in the first quar­ter was a set­back.

This was the sec­ond quar­ter in a row of neg­a­tive growth. In the fourth quar­ter of last year, the econ­omy had shrunk by 0.3% .

Gi­gaba, who was ad­dress­ing the House dur­ing the ap­proval of the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Bill, said these were tough times for South Africa.

The coun­try’s pro­jected growth has been re­vised by the World Bank from 1.1% to 0.6% this year.

But the min­is­ter urged South Africans not to be de­spon­dent.

The gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to re-ig­nit­ing growth.

It had pro­jected growth of 1.3% this year.

De­spite the chal­lenges, the gov­ern­ment would have to re­spond to the re­ces­sion and ar­rest the sit­u­a­tion.

Gi­gaba said the gov­ern­ment would soon give de­tails on pol­icy to pro­vide mar­ket cer­tainty.

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