Mogajane said the Treasury had a balancing act to strike. The government was paying billions of rand to service debt and this was rising.
“What does a 100% debt to GDP mean, what does it mean for our debt? I should be worried as a public servant in Treasury when I am paying R303bn towards debt service costs and it is rising and the budget for peace and security is R220bn and the budget for health is less than R300bn.”
If the government kept debt at manageable levels it would be able to build more schools and spend more on safety, health and education.
“I cannot do that when spending more on debt service costs.”
Mogajane said he must be comfortable reducing debt costs so that the government would pay less interest on debt.
Economist Thabi Leoka said the budget was a fair balancing act which was conscious of increasing debt and aware of the affect of Covid-19 on South Africans.
She said the National Treasury did enough for this year, but she was worried about the next few years as the economy is not forecast to grow much.