LIVE FEED: Finance minister Enoch Godongwana tables his ’mini-budget’
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Finance minister Enoch Godongwana tables his maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Thursday afternoon with investors and a blackout weary nation eager to see how he navigates South Africa out of the economic quagmire it finds itself in.
There are calls for him to play open cards to convince investors and ratings agencies that South Africa’s finances are stable amid some of the worst economic indicators in decades as he tables what many refer to as the ’mini budget’.
It comes on a backdrop of rampant unemployment that has risen to record levels, with more than 7.2 million people of working age officially jobless as the Covid-19 pandemic culled many businesses.
Godongwana’s MTBPS sets the tone for the country’s fiscal policy and the government’s spending priorities for the next three years, and reveals projections of curbing rising debt levels.
The country’s gross loan debt is projected at a still elevated 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020/21, versus the 80.3 percent of GDP forecast in the February 2021 Budget.
The budget deficit for 2021/22 is expected to be projected near -7.5 percent of GDP, down from a projection of -9.3 percent as fiscal conditions improve.