Home South African Finance minister delays medium-term budget speech

Finance minister delays medium-term budget speech

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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise requesting that the date for tabling the medium-term budget policy statement be changed from November 4 to November 11.

Minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

THE TABLING of South Africa’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) has been delayed by a week after the finance minister requested Parliament for a postponement.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana wrote to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula requesting that the date for tabling the MTBPS be changed from November 4. The National Treasury said Godongwana will now table the MTBPS in a joint sitting of Parliament on November 11.

The postponement was due to the local government elections to be held on Monday, November 1, it said.

“All processes leading up to the finalisation of the MTBPS remain on track.”

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed the postponement.

The MTBPS sets out the policy framework for the Budget that is presented every February, updates the National Treasury’s economic forecasts, adjusts the budgets of government departments and makes emergency changes to spending.

Godongwana’s maiden MTBPS will be closely monitored by various credit ratings agencies as South Africa’s sovereign credit ratings status firmly remains in sub-investment levels.

In various speaking engagements since his appointment, Goddongwana has been frank about the current state of the South African economy and how unsustainable it is, with the unemployment rate increasing to record highs of 34.4 percent.

Godongwana has advocated a policy response that places emphasis on fundamentally transforming the structure of the economy, to move from low growth and low labour-absorbing sectors, to sectors of high growth, high productivity and greater labour absorption.

He has expressed belief that if the economy were to upgrade to higher value-added activities within sectors, the country stood a greater chance of catapulting the economy onto a path of inclusive growth, sustainability and global competitiveness.

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