‘Gordhan must reassure investors’

Cape Town - The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) called on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday to reassure investors in his upcoming budget speech.

Sacci said the Treasury chief should spell out how the government would moderate the public wage bill, and provide more information on a range of initiatives, including the National Health Insurance and the tax review announced by President Jacob Zuma last week.

Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance. Photo: Matthew Jordaan. Credit: Independent Newspapers

It also urged Gordhan to announce strategies to tackle misspending at local and national level and measures to cut red tape for small, medium and micro enterprises.

The finance minister should also give more information on how government planned to fund its ambitious infrastructure projects, and how it was going to implement youth employment initiatives.

In his state-of-the-nation address last week, Zuma skirted the issue of a youth wage subsidy, which was mooted by Gordhan in his 2010 budget speech, but which prompted a lengthy dispute with the labour movement.

However, he said a deal had been reached between all stakeholders and would be announced soon.

Sacci also called on Gordhan to consider broadening South Africa's “relatively small” tax base and to ensure both domestic and foreign investors that South Africa was a stable and growing economy.

“The minister must provide both domestic and foreign investors with the reassurance of a responsible budget that supports economic stability.”

Gordhan will unveil the annual budget on Wednesday. - Sapa