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Treasury saves tax payers billions

23 February 2017 - 08:40 By DAVE CHAMBERS
Pravin Gordhan says the government has a nine-point plan to revive a sluggish economy.
Pravin Gordhan says the government has a nine-point plan to revive a sluggish economy.

Delivering his Budget yesterday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the bill for a 7500m² school had been cut from R70-million to R34-million after discussions between the Treasury's chief procurement officer, Ken Brown, and the Department of Basic Education on "cost-effective standards for building design".

Other savings achieved by Brown's office included:

  • R675-million in 2016-2017 on cellphone and vehicle contracts. "The vehicle contract is expected to save the state between R1-billion and R1.5-billion a year in the medium term," said Gordhan;
  • Between R2-billion and R3-billion on leasing property;
  • R2.5-billion over three years on the government's 10 biggest information and communication technology contracts.

Gordhan said public procurement would total about R1.5-trillion over the next three years. A Public Procurement Bill to be published shortly would propose the establishment of a single procurement authority.

  • EINA! Tax hikes will hurt but fatcats will feel pinch tooSouth Africans reeling from the tax hikes announced yesterday to fill a R28-billion hole in the state's finances should take comfort in that they are not alone - the president, his cabinet and the rich in general will have to endure the pain, too.

"The central supplier database is fully operational and has made doing business with the state much easier and cost-effective. Already large numbers of transactions have been identified for further investigation," said Gordhan.

These included public service employees who appeared to be doing business with the state, which is illegal, supply agreements bearing the identity numbers of dead people, and payments to bank accounts other than those of the suppliers.

  • Praise all round for GordhanFinance Minister Pravin Gordhan had walked a difficult road but has produced the best Budget possible, said opposition parties and analysts yesterday.

"Detractors abound. Disprove them," said Gordhan. "Negativity inspired by greed and selfishness will obstruct us. Defeat the bearers of this toxic ethic.

"Wherever you are, own this process; defend your gains; demand accountability; be an active agent for change."