Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana presented his response to the debate report of the Standing Committee on Appropriations regarding the Appropriation Bill in Parliament on Thursday.
As per Jacaranda FM, the debate followed Godongwana’s introduction of the national treasury’s budget vote of R34.9 billion for the 2023/24 financial year in May.
Despite opposition, the bill was adopted with a majority of 225 MPs voting in favour, while 125 voted against it.
Minister Godongwana highlighted allocating at least R140 billion to support the impoverished population during his address.
“We have dedicated approximately R40 billion to the SRD grant, R25 billion to extended public works programs, and an additional R10 billion to public employment programs. Combined, these amount to about R70 billion in support of indigent policies, making a total of R140 billion to subsidise the poor,” he explained.
Moreover, Godongwana acknowledged a slight improvement in the growth outlook, with the South African Reserve Bank revising its prediction from 0.2% to 0.3%.
As the debate occurred amidst a changed economic landscape since February, the Minister stressed the need to consider evolving factors that may impact future budget statements. He elaborated on the differences in growth assumptions, explicitly mentioning the Reserve Bank’s role in managing interest rates and protecting the currency’s value in response to global challenges.
Furthermore, Godongwana addressed the load-shedding issue, emphasising the significance of modelling its economic effects. He acknowledged the potentially substantial impact of load shedding. He assured the government would closely monitor developments in the coming months to adjust their projections accordingly.
In light of the dynamic economic environment, the Finance Minister affirmed the government’s commitment to reviewing and revising their numbers as necessary, ensuring that future budget policies reflect the evolving circumstances.
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