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VIDEO WRAP | ‘Tough love’ budget elicits concerns about national debt, joy over lack of tax hikes

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana delivered his maiden budget speech and spoke of economic reforms, spending cuts and growth prospects

24 February 2022 - 06:33 By TIMESLIVE VIDEO
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana delivered his budget speech on February 23 2022.
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana delivered his budget speech on February 23 2022.
Image: Supplied: GCIS

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana got the greeting that many finance ministers before him have received: applause from the ANC benches, frowns from the opposition and a crowd of unhappy protesters at the gates of parliament. 

The medley of mixed emotions has become somewhat of a rite of passage for finance ministers in the country, doing an imperfect dance meant to please both those inside and outside parliament.

And Godongwana’s dance was imperfect, with opposition criticising the country’s high debt levels but praising his approach on social security.

“It is the first time since 1994 that the debt servicing cost is above expenditure ... What is the basis for SA continuing to take loans from the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) when already we are in a very deep debt situation,” the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu said after the speech.

Meanwhile the FF+’s Pieter Groenewald said he welcomed Godongwana’s approach to tax.

“We welcome the fact that when it comes to personal tax, there is recognition of the crisis that SA is in,” he said.

For those outside parliament, jobs and SA’s commitments to international lenders took centre stage. 

The SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) brought a large group of supporters. There was also a group of former Clover employees who protested over the country’s jobs crisis.