A top pri­or­ity should be to skill our youth

Pretoria News - - OPINION -

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Tito Mboweni’s bud­get speech yes­ter­day con­firmed South Africa’s weak­ened econ­omy con­tin­ues to sti­fle job cre­ation.

The econ­omy must grow to in­crease the num­ber of jobs and fur­ther spikes in the un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures will only lead to in­creased taxes.

Mboweni ac­knowl­edged that the coun­try had the most diver­si­fied econ­omy on the con­ti­nent and a young pop­u­la­tion, but youth un­em­ploy­ment was stag­ger­ingly high.

Sav­ing from the pub­lic sec­tor wage bill will be chan­nelled to SOEs, but surely some of this needs to go to the youth wage sub­sidy which is be­ing used to skill un­em­ployed youth and chan­nel them into jobs?

He stressed the need for an ef­fi­cient and ca­pa­ble state with the as­sis­tance of the pri­vate sec­tor, but also an­nounced fur­ther bailouts for Eskom and SAA.

Fix­ing SOEs will go a long way to deal­ing with the coun­try’s mush­room­ing debt, with Eskom’s debt alone stand­ing at R450 bil­lion.

It will also re­store the con­fi­dence of the pub­lic in gov­ern­ment re­forms. SAA, too, is floun­der­ing and is un­der busi­ness res­cue.

“It is the very sin­cere hope of many that this in­ter­ven­tion will lead to a sus­tain­able air­line that is not a bur­den to the fis­cus,” Mboweni said.

With South Africans fac­ing gloomy eco­nomic con­di­tions, more will have to be done to en­sure the bur­den to the fis­cus across all sec­tors of gov­ern­ment is ad­dressed.

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