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PODCAST | Why the budget makes SA’s poor poorer ... and more restive

Duma Gqubule tells Eusebius McKaiser why the focus should be on growth, not on cutting debt and curbing inflation

10 March 2022 - 17:37
Half the population survives on about R40 per day. A quarter of a century down the road, prosperity still bypasses a majority of South Africans, while expanding reliance on redistribution is becoming increasingly counterproductive.
Half the population survives on about R40 per day. A quarter of a century down the road, prosperity still bypasses a majority of South Africans, while expanding reliance on redistribution is becoming increasingly counterproductive.
Image: Karen Moolman

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Duma Gqubule (Centre for Economic Development and Transformation) discussed this year's national budget as a guest on Eusebius on TimesLIVE.

He argued that the government's projection of an economic growth rate below 2% over the next few years will result in greater levels of unemployment which, in turn, will increase social strife in SA.

One of several government mistakes, argues Gqubule, is to focus relentlessly on keeping the debt level as low as possible, and slavishly obsessing about inflation targeting.

Although anathema to some economists, Gqubule made a passionate case for why an ambitious stimulus package is necessary to unlock economic growth within the economy. If, for example, we were to enjoy another commodities windfall, he argues, that income should be used to stimulate growth, and to unlock jobs rather than to quickly pay off our national debt.

Gqubule ended the conversation by explaining why the analogy of a household budget to make sense of a national budget is flawed. He also commented on the false dichotomy of seeing job creation as either wholly a state duty or one that squarely befalls private enterprise. He explained how we are collectively implicated in the jobs crisis across the various sectors of society.

To listen to previous episodes, go here.

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