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Godongwana faces pressure ahead of MTBPS

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has been urged to address the fiscal crisis in the country. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has been urged to address the fiscal crisis in the country. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Oct 31, 2023


Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is expected to table his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday in the midst of a fiscal crisis and political parties have already urged him to address the crisis.

The IFP said it did not want an election budget, but a budget that would address the economic challenges.

Build One South Africa (Bosa) leader Mmusi Maimane said they want Godongwana to talk about the fiscal crisis affecting the country.

Cosatu, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said Godongwana must deliver a budget that will meet the needs of the poor.

IFP MP Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi said Godongwana must deal with the economy and not use the budget to campaign for his party.

“The fundamentals of this budget must address the fact that South Africans are unable to put food on the table as the cost of living is steadily increasing. Social relief would assist the most vulnerable,” said Buthelezi.

Maimane said the MTBPS should not be about tax increases, but dealing with the cost of living crisis.

The DA called on the government to implement reforms to revive the economy.

DA spokesperson on finance, Dion George, said the cost of living crisis has piled more pressure on poor and struggling families.

He said the government will have to implement urgent reforms to get out of the crisis, including addressing the power crisis, controlling expenditure, reducing debt, and cracking down on corruption.

Cosatu said they do not support proposals by the National Treasury to cut spending.

The National Treasury had a few months ago proposed cost-cutting measures.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Godongwana said they need to reign in spending because of poor revenue collection.

But Cosatu said it was against this.

“Whilst we appreciate the fiscal constraints facing the state and the need to cut fat and reprioritise expenditure, the solutions offered by Treasury of bluntly slashing expenditure and further decapacitating the State in an economy in desperate need of stimulus and well-oiled and capacitated public services will only choke the economy and further weaken an already enfeebled government and undermine its ability to provide quality public and municipal services. What is needed is to grow the economy. That is the only sobre and sustainable path to pay down our worrying debt trajectory,” said Cosatu.

Saftu said the fiscal crisis was created by government.

It called on government to change the structure of the economy to create jobs.

Saftu said the decision by government to cut corporate tax and remove exchange controls had robbed the country of an opportunity to reduce unemployment.

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