A bud­get that pri­ori­tises the poor

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page -

DE­SPItE tHE ECO­NOmIC

Govern­ment will con­tinue to pro­tect spend­ing on core so­cial pro­grammes that ben­e­fit poor South Africans that's ac­cord­ing to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba, who was speak­ing dur­ing his maiden Medium

Term Bud­get Pol­icy State­ment (MTBPS) in Par­lia­ment re­cently.

“Over the next three years, con­sol­i­dated spend­ing will in­crease by an an­nual av­er­age of 7.3 per­cent, from R1.6 tril­lion in 2017/18 to R1.9 tril­lion in 2020/21,” said Min­is­ter Gi­gaba.

The Medium Term Bud­get re­flects on the coun­try’s fi­nances and eco­nomic out­look, and to how the out­look sup­ports the coun­try’s na­tional de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives as ar­tic­u­lated in Vi­sion 2030.

Min­is­ter Gi­gaba said govern­ment will con­tinue to ex­plore op­tions avail­able to stretch the Rand to ad­dress the chal­lenges faced by the ma­jor­ity of South Africans.

“Im­prov­ing our eco­nomic growth out­look over the pe­riod ahead re­mains our big­gest chal­lenge. Cre­at­ing jobs and dra­mat­i­cally rolling back the tide of un­em­ploy­ment re­mains our most ur­gent pri­or­ity.”

He added that govern­ment can­not do this alone.

“We need busi­ness, labour and civil so­ci­ety to come to­gether to forge com­mon so­lu­tions to grow­ing the econ­omy in­clu­sively, and on a more rad­i­cal and sus­tain­able ba­sis,” he said.

He said com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, learn­ing and cul­ture as well as health are the fastest-grow­ing func­tions.

“The stu­dent move­ment has cor­rectly put the is­sue of higher ed­u­ca­tion at the cen­tre of our trans­for­ma­tion agenda. We can­not hope to grow and de­velop without the skills and in­tel­lec­tual ca­pa­bil­i­ties that our uni­ver­si­ties and tech­ni­cal train­ing col­leges pro­duce,” said the min­is­ter.

The sec­tor’s bud­get will grow from R77 bil­lion this year to R97 bil­lion in 2020/21.

“This in­cludes the pro­vi­sion of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to sub­sidise the ed­u­ca­tion of more than 450 000 stu­dents ev­ery year,” said Min­is­ter Gi­gaba.

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