Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni. Photographer : Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni over the weekend took to Twitter to ask South African's their input on his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) which will happen this Wednesday.

South Africans are expecting that the new minister will support and strengthen their personal finances, job prospects, and the economy as a whole. 

The minister called for ideas for the budget and thousands then responded.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tweeted on Friday: "Let us do something unusual which will annoy the establishment. if you were the Minister of finance, what would you announce on Wednesday?"

Let us do something unusual which will annoy the Establishment. If you were Minister of Finance, what would you announce on Wednesday next week. It is time for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). Over to you. Don’t tell the Establishment about this tweet!!

— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) October 19, 2018


After the responses flooded in, Mboweni then proceeded to explain to SA what the purpose of the Nation budget means and does. 

A National Budget is basically: revenue collection(taxes),expenditure (allocations for departments, provinces,municipalities,deficit and debt management and strategic plans eg sorting out the water issues in the Vaal River).Using the budget strategically to transform the economy.

— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) October 19, 2018

Responses varied but, mostly, focused around  better tax rates for small business, reduced data costs, tougher action against corruption and better visa laws.

Women also took the chance to request that sanitary pads be taxed free.

Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, asked for a VAT exemption for chicken...as it's eaten more by the poor.

#DearMinisterMboweni. Thanks for being consistently democratic. I’d announce VAT exemption for chicken, it’s eaten more by the poor than many VAT insulated items; reduce perks for ministers,MPs/senior public employees and invest in enterprise-development and inequality reduction

— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) October 20, 2018


Here are what people had to say:

Cut the size of the cabinet in half. Cut ministers' salaries. Cut off their non-essential perks. Keep a tighter reign on local government expenditure!!!

— MT (@MTimmal) October 20, 2018

In addition, Scrap R1mil vehicle allowance to ministers, how can this b justified, overseas travel allowance is excessive (justlook at what Gigupta has spent), no bodyguards paid from public purse use ur own money, you r public servants, for God's sake act like servants

— KEITH JONES (@KEITHJO31394907) October 20, 2018

Privatize SAA - Qatar will partner.
Implement a blockchain based ownership structure for Eskom with a bias to green energy. Fractionalise its debt and start selling.
Enable wind and solar again.
Halve cabinet.
Choose Cape Town or Pretoria once and for all. Halve costs.

— Doug Walker (@Doug_A_Walker) October 20, 2018

Sanitary pads should be tax free

— Tintsi Ngwenya (@JustTintsy) October 20, 2018

No tax on sanitary pads/tampons. We can't lead if we have such little help to bleed. Children are missing school because they can't afford pads.

— Bhavna Maharaj (@BhavMaharaj) October 22, 2018

You literally are the establishment. So, to annoy you then:
- Scrap EWC. Protect property rights.
- Scrap talk of nationalising the reserve bank
- Ditch the NHI
- Halve the cabinet
- Freeze public sector salaries
- Break up & sell off SOE’s
- Rewrite labour legislation

— Jacques Maree (@JacquesMaree73) October 20, 2018

Identify govt unused land and start hydroponic farms, crewed by local unemployed people. This provides jobs, food, uses land productively and can stimulate the economy.

— merv (@mervellocity) October 20, 2018

10% pay cut for all government employees will save you R56.7 billion a year.

If you are really brave fire another 10% and that is R120 billion saved a year.

— Igor Marinkovic (@ALSITRADER) October 20, 2018

I would tax crypto transactions at source. E.g. When you buy Bitcoin, tax the transaction by 5%, rather than trying to tax profits. (Suggestion courtesy of @VinnyLingham)

— Crypto Gran (@Crypto_Gran) October 22, 2018

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