The African National Congress welcomes the Budget Speech delivered by the Minister of Finance, Comrade Pravin Gordhan, today. The budget, which is presented in the midst of a sluggish economic climate and pressing fiscal challenges, is a budget of hope; advancing people’s power and responding to our people’s aspirations. It is clearly aimed at rebuilding confidence in the economy as well as re-igniting dynamic, responsive and inclusive economic growth. The budget further reaffirms the ANC government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation while enhancing social spending and accelerating infrastructure investment to boost growth and development.

The Budget Speech builds on the sound fiscal framework that has been a hallmark of the ANC government. It gives clear expression to the priorities identified by our people and concretised in the January 8 Statement, the ANC NEC Lekgotla and the State of the Nation Address. The ANC government continues to place our people first, advancing people’s power. To this end, we welcome the reallocation and reprioritisation of resources to higher education in response to the issues raised by students themselves. Organised labour and ordinary South Africans have called for comprehensive social security and this call has been heeded in the resources allocated. We remain committed to developing an inclusive economy that works for all. The strong initiatives outlined to increase efficiencies and decrease the cost of doing business, with and within government and amongst the state owned enterprises in particular, is indicative of this. We further welcome plans to rationalise the State Owned Enterprises to phase out those that are no longer viable, including the possible merger of South African Airways and SA Airlink; thus easing the drain on the national fiscus.

The Budget has addressed the most critical issues that must be addressed. It has prioritised the most pressing challenges of our people and the priorities of the ANC government being the creation of a conducive environment for more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihoods, education and health, infrastructure development, service delivery and rural development, good governance and prudent and pragmatic financial management. Working together in a social compact and building on its solid foundation, the ANC is confident of South Africa’s ability to weather the current economic challenges.

Issued by
Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

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