Gordhan act applauded

Ruling and opposition parties welcomed commitments to infrastructure development, announcements on cutting out tender fraud and maladministration.

Using indigenous Tswana idiom ‘mabogo dinki a thebana’ simply translated -one hand washes the other- Gordhan said it was time to spend less with the little we have, referring to both government and the public.

ACDP MP Steve Swart said Gordhan had little room to move because of global pressures.
He said a lower budget deficit was good news.

“What was very surprising is that the deficit came in at half a percent lower than expected and that bodes well for our long term debt levels,” he said.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he was encouraged by a stronger focus on tightening tender procedures, because it seems it only favours the well connected, he said.

DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said she would like a stronger commitment from the minister to cut the public sector wage bill.

“They cost the government extraordinary amounts of money. I think the last increase was 15 percent, year on year. This is something the state cannot afford to keep going and it limits us to invest in the kind of growth that will bring returns,” she said.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said Gordhan put emphasis on the right things.

“I was impressed by the fact that he said measures are going to be implemented to deal with corruption and fraud. It gives one a little hope,” he said.

We welcome increases in grants but said more could have been done to alleviate the plight of the poor, says independent political analyst.

“Considering the fact that grants are used largely to buy food, we’d expected that grocery items to be exempted from VAT would be revised this year,” he said.

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