THE ECONOMIC GROWTH IS LOWER THAN EXPECTED
Written by: Menelisi Ndwandwe
The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan delivered the Medium Term Budget Term Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday in the National Assembly.
Gordhan told the public and parliamentarians that the economic growth of the country is worrying.
“Our economic growth will be just 0.5 per cent this year, rising to 1.7 per cent in 2017. If we do the right things to support investment and confidence, our economic recovery will be more rapid,” he said.
The resultant of the above leads to limited job opportunities and currently the country is faced with triple challenges; unemployment, poverty and inequality.
According to Gordhan the treasury, labour and business are working together in achieving the economic stability.
“The Chief Executive Officers’ Initiative has established a new fund to support the expansion of small firms, providing support through mentorship and market access,” said Gordhan.
“The business sector is also developing an internship programme to improve the job readiness of young work seekers.” He added.
The topical issue of education was not left behind in the MTBPS, Gordhan said they will do whatever it takes to create harmony in tertiary institutions.
“We will work with the corporate sector and financial institutions to expand bursaries, loans and work opportunities for students.” said the finance minister.
On social services, the MTBPS acknowledges the work that has been done in the HIV and AIDS Programme that is reaching 3.5 million people.
As expected there was political shading when Gordhan (who will appear in court next week over fraud charges) emphasised the importance of working as the collective.
“Support confidence and investment in our economy, create a predictable and stable policy and political environment, and put the national interest first. It’s up to us,” warned Gordhan.
The social grant beneficiaries will have the R10 increase with effect from October. The public is cautioned that goods such as food and fuel will continue to hike due to hostile economy.