Gigaba's budget ‘a statement of the crisis the country finds itself in’

25 October 2017 - 18:01 By Bianca Capazorio And Babalo Ndenze

Political analyst Daniel Silke said "it almost wasn't a budget- it was more of a statement of the crisis the country finds itself in".

Silke said it offered little in the way of constructive responses to the crisis and represented "the failure of good governance and policy over a number of years".

Silke said the country found itself in an "economic no-man's land" until the ANC leadership battle was settled‚ and in the "ratings agencies’ danger zone" as they decided whether to adjust ratings now‚ or wait until December's elective conference.

DA MP David Maynier said the budget "exposes the full horror of President Jacob Zuma’s catastrophic management of the economy in South Africa".

He said ballooning national debt would see government spending R129.7-billion more on debt service costs than it spent on policing this year‚ and R33.8-billion more than it did on health.

Maynier said with no real plans to boost the economy‚ it would only take a few years before the country was forced to go "cap in hand to the lending agencies" because "we will run out of money".

Labour federation COSATU‚ through its parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks‚ also slammed Gigaba's maiden MTBPS‚ saying it offered little hope.

"The nation is in the midst of its worst governance and economic crisis since 1994. Yet government has produced an MTBPS which says nothing‚ proposes nothing and offers no hope. In fact it points towards the worsening of our economic crisis and a deepening of the collapse of good governance in the state‚" he said.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi applauded plans to get an equity partner for SAA saying that privatisation could solve some of the country's economic woes.

He also applauded Gigaba for being "honest" about the economic situation.

"He didn't try to pull the wool over the people of South Africa's eyes‚" said Buthelezi.

The UDM's Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said the budget was "very flat" with nothing but "empty promises".

He said that without tackling corruption in the system‚ the Zuma administration had "all the credibility of a cat that decides to constitute a commission of inquiry into the disappearance of mice".

COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota said rising debt levels amounted to burdening future generations.

"Even as he was speaking the rand was going down and down. This already tells you how disastrous it is. It's a very serious thing that he's committed the country to put in more money into SOEs which are sinking‚ not giving us any returns and essentially are going to increase our debt and put the country into a deeper disastrous scene.

"What does this mean for the future of our children? There's no future for them‚" said Lekota.

ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said Gigaba had done his best.

"This budget is medium term‚ we will hear the actual budget next year. The new minister is doing his best to face the challenges of the country to try find solutions‚" she said.

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