|SACCI RESPONSE TO MTBPS - PRESS RELEASE|
|Wednesday, 26 October 2016 17:23|
The South African Chamber of Commerce and industry (SACCI) welcomes the announcement of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) delivered by the Honourable Minister of Finance Mr. Pravin Gordhan, MP. We note with concern the revised growth target of 0.5% for the fiscal year of 2016. The 0.7% growth predicted for the 2017 fiscal year is encouraging, albeit still significantly low given the economic, political and social challenges that we face.
We wish to encourage the minister to continue with the austerity measures to bring inline the non-investment related expenditure, including wasteful government spending. We however caution the minister from adopting austerity measures which may, appear good on the face of it, yet have a negative impact on the SMME sector which relies mainly on supplying goods and services to government departments and related entities. This could have a devastating effect on job creation and can cause job losses especially amongst the low skilled workforce.
The minister’s announcement of R 900 billion plus in proposed infrastructure expenditure should ignite significant economic activity to drive job creation and establish the necessary infrastructure platforms in energy, logistics and telecoms. These investments are key in consolidation and improving South Africa’s global competitiveness as an investment destination.
The minister also announced additional allocations to address shortages in the funding of higher education. We hope that these measures will be received positively by the key stakeholders, especially the affected students.
We wish to encourage the government and its relevant departments to scale-up their execution capabilities in implementing the projects announced in the MTBPS.