DURBAN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered a lacklustre Budget speech on Wednesday and failed to mention any comprehensive measures that would be taken to cut government spending, according to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
The party's spokesperson on finance, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said it was appropriate that Mboweni displayed an Aloe Ferox on the podium as he delivered the budget, as the plant spoke to "the very essence of a dried-up fiscus".
Nevertheless, the governing ANC would continue to borrow money for its failed flagship projects, said Hlengwa.
"[Mboweni] did not go far enough in addressing ailing state-owned-enterprises. Our country is essentially trying to solve non-financial problems with financial solutions, with Eskom set to receive R23 billion a year for its unbundling exercise. This budget speech was the greatest indication that our economy is in deep trouble," said Hlengwa.
He said Mboweni failed to mention how departments would be funded and did not mention any "real transformative measures" to grow the economy. "He made a total mockery of this budget speech."
Other failures by Mboweni, according to Hlengwa, included: Not reversing VAT from 15% to 14%, no costing plan for the fight against gender based violence, not cutting government expenditure and not addressing fee-free education "and the fact that our universities are burning".
"Clearly, as we forewarned, it was an ANC election budget, not a budget to address the real concerns of our people," said Hlengwa.
African News Agency (ANA)