Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni leads his team, which included his deputy Mondli Gungubele (right), to the National Assembly where he delivered the medium-term budget policy statement. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

PRETORIA – Government is proposing reprioritisation of R32.4 billion over the next three years in a bid to support reforms and interventions in health and education within a constrained fiscal framework, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday.

Of this amount, Mboweni said that R15.9bn would go towards faster-spending infrastructure programmes, including R3.4bn for school infrastructure and eradicating pit latrines, clothing and textile incentives, and the Expanded Public Works Programme.   

Tabling the medium-term budget policy statement, the minister said the remaining R16.5bn will be allocated to various programmes, including recapitalising the SA Revenue Service (Sars), a minimum wage for community health workers, critical posts and goods and services in health, and streamlining the management of the justice system.

Mboweni said the structure of South Africa's economy was not conducive to high growth or job creation as barriers to entry remained high, making it difficult for small businesses to compete. He said that network industries such as energy, water, transport and telecommunications, needed to be modernised.

In addition to these reforms and interventions, the former reserve bank governor announced changes to grant structures amounting to R14.7bn which will be used to promote the upgrading of informal settlements in partnership with communities.

Mboweni said housing subsidies amounting to R1bn will be centralised to better support middle and lower-income home buyers.

In the current year, R1.7bn has been added to infrastructure spending, including funding for fast-spending school building programmes, and R3.4bn is allocated to drought relief, mostly to upgrade water infrastructure.

African News Agency (ANA)