File image: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. IOL.

CAPE TOWN -  Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that the growth outlook was slashed from 1.3% to 0.7%. 

Gigaba delivered his first MTBPS, to watchful eyes around the country. His much anticipated speech revealed the negative outlook of the country's growth. 

The predicted revenue shortfall is predicted to stand at R50.8bn. This is the largest shortfall since 2009. 

He said that South Africa is working toward achieving the National Development Plan (NDP), vision 2030. 

Currently, the country remains elusive, given the current economic forecast. 

However, Gigaba expressed his earnest confidence in the country's growth outlook. 

Gigaba affirmatively added that the growth forecast for South Africa is expected to increase in the near future. 

"Growth is subsequently expected to increase slowly reaching 1.9% in 2020", said Gigaba. 

He attributed the country's weak growth to political and social policy uncertainty but went on to report on South Africa's favourable relations across international borders. 

The Euro continues to benefit from strong domestic demand while Brazil has a strong export growth, said Gigaba. 

Within the local context, Kenya and Ethiopia's growth forecast spikes positivism. 

With an expected 5% renewed growth for Kenya and 8.5% for Ethiopia by 2017, this is considered to substantially improve the country's regional trade. 

Gigaba added that the Department of Home Affairs is currently working on improving ports of entry (POE) in South Africa. 

Renewed infrastructure is in the pipeline to revamp these ports of entry. 

The Minister added that this will expectantly improve the country's trade. 

Notably, South Africa has chaired a group with Germany at the G20. Together, they have tabled and discussed improvements for financial concerns. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted modest growth of 1.2% over the next year. 

Coupled by policy choices and effectiveness of those implementations, Gigaba is confident that the country's growth outlook can be hopeful once more. 

READ ALSO: #MTBPS2017 : SA will upgrade ports to boost regional trade, says Gigaba

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE