Business Unity SA congratulates Godongwana on his first Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

By BR Reporter Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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BUSINESS Unity SA has congratulated Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on his maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement which he delivered on Thursday.

In a statement, Busa said Godongwana has been consistent, since his appointment, of the need to be prudent in the current climate.

“He has been clear that the critical issue for the country is to create an environment for investment and growth, and the country cannot afford to commit to any expenditure the fiscus cannot afford. He further emphasised that the private sector will create jobs, and it is the role of government to intervene to enhance growth and not impede growth,” it said.

According to Busa, the minister emphasised, including in the key takeaways toward the conclusion of his address, that necessary structural economic reforms to generate economic growth are critical.

“We have been beating this drum for the last five years and thus strongly endorse this. He emphasised that the country cannot deal with numerous challenges without growth. He also emphasised the need to manage our debt, with debt service costs now higher than the budget for health. We note with concern, yet again, the impact of the public service wage bill. The minister indicated the budget ceiling for compensation of public servants was breached by R20.5 billion,” Busa said.

The group said Godongwana warned that if the honouring of the public service wage agreement became too great, the government might need to shift funds from the Infrastructure Fund to meet such increases.

“Busa expresses serious concern about this, particularly at a time when growth-enhancing infrastructure spend is critical for economic growth and job creation,” it said.

The minister identified port corporatisation, spectrum release, ongoing REIPPP’s, digital migration, energy, and water as critical areas of implementation.

“We agree with this and would add that issues like expediting mining exploration licences and other immediately actionable actions to increase confidence in our economy also to be critical,

“We welcome additional allocations to Sasria to enable the institution to meet insurance claims and to the National Department of Health for additional vaccines.”

Busa said it welcomed allocations to public sector employment programmes but warned this did not replace the need for tough decisions to unblock red tape and inappropriate regulations that impede the private sector from growing businesses and creating sustainable jobs.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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