Some highlights of the 2014 Budget speech delivered by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan:


* Budget deficit of four percent of GDP expected for 2013/14, narrowing to 2.8 percent in 2016/17;

* Debt stock as percentage of GDP to stabilise at 44.3 percent in 2016/17;

* Tax revenue for 2013/14 expected to be R1 billion higher than projected in 2013 budget;

* Real growth in non-interest spending to average 1.9 percent over next three years;

* National and provincial government expenditure on travel, catering, consultants and other administrative payments declines as a share of spending;

* Expenditure ceiling commits government to spending limits of R1.03trn in 2014/15, R1.11trn in 2015/16 and R1.18trn in 2016/17.


Over the next three years, government will spend:

* R410bn on social grants;

* R15.2bn on the economic competitiveness and support package;

* R8.5bn on the Community Work Programme;

* R8.7bn on settlement of land restitution claims;

* R7bn for subsistence and smallholder farmers;

* R78bn on university subsidies and R19.4bn for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme;

* R34.3bn on school infrastructure;

* R22.9bn to upgrade commuter rail services;

* R143.8bn to support municipal infrastructure;

* R42bn on the HIV and Aids conditional grant.


* Personal income tax relief of R9.3bn;

* Adjustments to tax tables relating to retirement lump-sum payments;

* Measures to encourage small enterprise development;

* Clarity on valuation of company cars for fringe-benefit tax purposes;

* Reforms to tax treatment of the risk business of long-term insurers;

* Amending rules for VAT input tax to combat gold smuggling;

* Measures to address acid mine drainage;

* Adjustment of the proposed carbon tax and its alignment with desired emission-reduction outcomes identified by the environmental affairs department. - Sapa.