South Africa's National Treasury will shift around R34 billion within the budget to fund reforms designed to stimulate economic growth. File image: IOL

PARLIAMENT- South Africa's National Treasury will shift around R34 billion within the budget to fund reforms designed to stimulate economic growth.

This was announced in a medium-term budget policy statement tabled in parliament on Wednesday, answering a question that has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks.

About half the money, R15.9 billion, will go towards speeding up infrastructure programmes. Of this, R3.4 billion will be given to improving school infrastructure and sanitation, to eradicate pit latrines.

PROTECT TREASURY 

Mboweni also said he would strive to protect the National Treasury from political interference but conceded that he would be naive to think he could succeed.

"I thought one thing I am going to try to do is provide political protection to National Treasury or to the extent that is naively possible," Mboweni told journalists shortly before tabling his maiden medium term budget policy statement in Parliament.

The finance minister, who has only been in the portfolio for a few weeks, was responding to a question on how he would handle the populist wing of the ruling African National Congress.

"To keep it free from unnecessary interference, I will do that, it is nigh impossible but I will try to do that....we understand the political environment very well."

Mboweni said National Treasury held talks with leaders of political parties represented in Parliament this week, and he would delegate Deputy Minister Mondli Gungubele to liaise with them regularly to forge consensus around fiscal policy.

African News Agency (ANA)