File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba unpacked the #Budget2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and tells SABC Morning Live that the budget was more than just VAT, it outlined a series of interventions. 

Speaking to Leanne Manas, Gigaba said that although the budget is a tough one, “we all have to bear the pain of the policy” in order to enjoy fruitful outcomes in the future. 

“The benefits in the future will eclipse the pain”, said Gigaba. 

On how small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMME’s) will be given an enabling environment, Gigaba said that through discussions with CEO’s and large retail stores, government will look into how they can open their shelves for small local products. This will essentially provide a platform for small businesses. 

When asked if the extravagant public service wage bill which is in excess of over R570 billion will be slashed, Gigaba said that it is ultimately the president’s prerogative. 

“We have presented wage cuts to President in order to streamline the budget”, said Gigaba. 

He then noted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “incredible vision” for the country. 

“He must implement and make the final decision but as he told us on Tuesday, he needs to be given time”, said Gigaba. 

READ ALSO: WATCH: SMME's will receive a more enabling environment - Gigaba

The Finance Minister then assured members that despite the VAT increase from 14% to 15%, “the rich are being taxed more”, he said. 

Gigaba then concluded by saying that all of the changes that have been outlined in the budget will make significant changes to the economy and he is looking forward to a positive long-term outlook. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE