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‘We’re still broke’: SA reacts to ‘uninspiring’ budget speech

24 February 2022 - 09:00
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana tabled the 2022/23 budget on Wednesday afternoon.
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana tabled the 2022/23 budget on Wednesday afternoon.
Image: GCIS

“There was no need for a budget speech. The minister of finance should have just said we’re still broke and will be for a very long time.”

This is one of the remarks from people online who expressed mixed reactions to Enoch Godongwana’s first budget speech.

Godongwana delivered his much-anticipated budget speech in parliament on Wednesday.

He warned the country is still a long way from a sustainable economic recovery and that spending must still be monitored.

“The improved revenue performance is not a reflection of an improvement in the capacity of our economy.

“As such, we cannot plan permanent expenditure on the basis of short-term increases in commodity prices. To be clear, any permanent increases in spending should be financed in a way that does not worsen the fiscal deficit,” he said.

Godongwana said the budget deficit is projected to narrow from 5.7% in 2021/22 to 4.2% of GDP in 2024/25.

Economic growth has been revised downwards from 5.1% to 4.8% in 2021. Real GDP growth of 2.1% is projected for 2022.

The government expects to collect R182bn more than earlier estimated in tax revenue.

It plans to use R44bn to extend the R350 Covid-19 relief of distress grant by another 12 months, and support job creation projects.

Public debt accounted for 69.5% of GDP in 2021/22 and will increase steadily over the next three years before stabilising at 75.1% of GDP (R5.4-trillion) in 2024/25.

Dozens took to social media to weigh in on the budget. Some said the speech was “refreshing”, despite Godongwana not scrapping E-tolls. Others said the speech was “very uninspiring”.

Here is a snapshot of what some had to say:


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