Kaya 959 Reporter
Government expenditure has exceeded revenue in every year since 2008/09.
In that time, the consolidated budget has grown from R712.8 billion in 2008/09 to R2.13 trillion in 2021/22 – an average increase of 8.8% each year. “Higher expenditure has not always been efficient or effective,” the finance minister said.
The Minister emphasised, including in the key take-aways toward the conclusion of his address, that necessary structural economic reforms to generate economic growth is critical.
He emphasised the country cannot deal with numerous challenges without growth. He also emphasised the need to manage our debt, with debt service costs now higher that the budget for health.
Kaya Biz with Gugulethu Mfuphi spoke to Das Coovadia, Business Unity SA CEO to get some reactions to the Mid Term Budget speech from business.
Coovadia congratulated Minister Godongwana on his maiden speech and highlighted key issues he picked up in the speech.
“It was good debut for the minister, Minister Godongwana, since his appointment has made it very clear that we can not afford to spend money that we don’t have.
“That the critical issue is investment and growth, the issues is not to increase grants, social grants need to continue, but we have to look for other grans and so on. The issue is to invest in growth, sustain the growth and create jobs.”
He added that it’s important for ministers to keep to the allocated budget, as not doing so will create all sorts of problems.
“We also happy with some allocations he made, the additional allocation for SASSA is good, for vaccines is good. I think again we have to express concern about the public sector wage bill that has gone 20 billion above budget. Treasury can only do it’s bit.”
“The minister was quite clear that this is cabinet’s budget and that all minister in the cabinet should keep to that budget.”
With 9.5 million people now receiving the monthly R350 grant, and 18 million South Africans receiving grants including state pensions and child support and foster care grants, the MTBPS says South Africa already spent more than similar countries on cash grants.
“Social protection programmes should ideally complement a vibrant, job-creating economy, and policy options need to consider the implications for overall economic activity.”