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Enoch Godongwana faces tough questions from MPs over MTBPS

Enoch Godongwana makes his maiden budget speech as the new Minister of Finance.He took over from Tito Mboweni who asked to be relieved of his duties by president when he reshufled his cabinet earlier in the year.Photograph :Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Enoch Godongwana makes his maiden budget speech as the new Minister of Finance.He took over from Tito Mboweni who asked to be relieved of his duties by president when he reshufled his cabinet earlier in the year.Photograph :Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 12, 2021

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Cape Town - FINANCE Minister Enoch Godongwana will appear before the joint committees on finance in Parliament today, to face tough questions on the medium term budget policy statement (MTBPS) he tabled yesterday.

Opposition parties have criticised his budget saying it does not address key challenges including structural reforms in the economy.

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But Godongwana yesterday defended himself and said they were dealing with the structural reforms.

He said they were dealing with the electricity challenge, the issue of the spectrum allocation and other issues.

DA MP Dion George said the MTBPS failed to deliver on major issues in the economy.

“He mentioned structural reform but they do not address the key challenges identified by the rating agencies and the IMF and the World Bank, some of which include making it easy to do business and reform the labour market,” George said.

“We would have expected the minister to demonstrate some urgency on ensuring energy stability to support business that is heavily dependent on the power supply. The MTBPS is entirely driven by the short-term commodities boom and there is no meaningful plan to sustainably grow the economy beyond just being a passive recipient of favourable global conditions,” he said.

IFP deputy leader Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi said the MTBPS fell short on many things including reviving the economy.

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One positive note from the budget was that there would be no bailout for state-owned entities.

“Among others, the minister spoke at length about the crippling impact that the lack of a reliable energy supply has had upon the economy, yet no concrete plans were offered to rectify the dire state of Eskom,” Buthelezi said.

He said they will ask tough questions when Godongwana appears before the joint committees today.

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