Budget 2024: Parties are not holding their breath

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will table his 2024 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will table his 2024 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

Published Feb 21, 2024


IFP deputy leader and finance spokesperson Mzamo Buthelezi said his party expected nothing new from Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana when he tables his 2024 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

Buthelezi said the ANC should not dump finances onto quick election-winning projects to curry favour with the electorate.

“We caution the minister not to deliver a speech that will only sound ‘nice’ to the electorate but that cannot be implemented by government.

“It is our hope the ANC does not commit government’s resources to ‘pie in the sky’ plans or take on any new debt, that will likely result in setting up the next government for failure.”

Buthelezi said Godongwana should get government debt under control, invest in sectors that will retain existing jobs and create new work opportunities for unemployed South Africans.

“We expect at the top of the Finance Minister’s agenda is the urgent need to keep the lights on and to spend accordingly, to avoid another year of over 300 days of load shedding.”

ACDP chief whip Steve Swart said his party expected an increased Budget deficit and government debt levels given reduced tax revenue and expenditure overruns.

Swart said the National Treasury’s most recent data showed public finances were in a poor state and have worsened since the medium term budget policy statement with the budget deficit expected to widen from last year’s forecast of 4% of GDP, to 4.9% in November to 6% of GDP now.

“This slippage is largely due to lower revenue performance due to lower economic growth (expected at 0.5% of GDP), a higher public sector wage bill, and higher debt service costs.”

He blamed the lower economic growth to the ongoing load shedding and severe challenges with logistics, both rail and ports, as well as reduced demand for commodities.

GOOD Party secretary-general Brett Herron said the focus in Godongwana’s speech must be the country’s economic growth crisis.

“If he fails to comprehensively address that crisis then he will doom our country to extended low economic growth and deepening poverty and unemployment,” he said.

Herron also said Godongwana must avoid the introduction of austerity measures – budget cuts to infrastructure, key programmes and services.

He said the R350 social relief of distress urgently needed to be increased and converted into a basic income grant of just under R1,000 a month.

Cape Times