Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget speech of today was somehow
predictable, both in terms of what it addresses and in terms of what
it fails to address.
It has increased Government spending across the board in an effort to
do more. This may be seen as a positive action. It also contains
several measures and promises aimed at curtailing inefficiency,
ineffectiveness and corruption, which is excellent, were it not for
the fact that similar statements were contained in Minister Pravin
Gordhan's budget speeches of the past three years. Much will depend on
whether or not, this time around, declarations of policy will
materialize into programmes of action.
The most concerning aspect is the insufficient emphasis on economic
growth. Our present rate of economic growth below 3% is largely the
product of Government funding and subsidies and may not be
sustainable. In the end, everything depends on our country's
capability of generating income. The welcome emphasis on
infrastructural development still does not address this fundamental
I feel that we have not yet crossed into the terrain of the much
spoken of leadership that the country needs. The measures taken are
still mild when drastic measures are needed.