A budget that prioritises the poor
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.