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Daily Podcast – February 22, 2024


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Daily Podcast – February 22, 2024

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana

22nd February 2024


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February 22, 2024.

For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Halima Frost.



Making headlines:


Budget seen as realistic, generally positive in economic context

Parties welcome Hlophe’s impeachment but EFF says JSC proceedings ‘procedurally unfair’

And, Cape Town driving forward with renewable energy, climate resilience programmes


Budget seen as realistic, generally positive in economic context

Business organisations Business Leadership South Africa and Business Unity South Africa said the 2024 Budget presented by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on February 21, was “realistic and commendable in an election year”, and “a generally positive step forward given the current economic context”.

Godongwana delivered a strong Budget that committed government to appropriate spending levels given the weak economic outlook. BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso this was positive for business, which needed reassurance that fiscal discipline would be maintained, despite pressure for increased spending from many quarters of government.

She said the Minister was realistic that economic growth was going to remain subdued in the short term. The effects of the weak economy over the past year were reflected in a sharp deterioration in tax revenue collection for 2023/24 to R1.73-trillion, R56.1-billion lower than estimated in the 2023 Budget.

The estimated budget deficit for 2023/24 is expected to worsen to 4.9% of gross domestic product, thereby pushing debt service costs up by R15.7-billion to R356-billion, and taking more than 20% of revenue. Godongwana expects debt to peak at 75.3% of GDP in 2025/26.


Parties welcome Hlophe’s impeachment but EFF says JSC proceedings ‘procedurally unfair’

While some opposition parties have welcomed the removal of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and Judge Nkola Motata from the bench, the Economic Freedom Fighters has criticised the impeachment, saying it represents a “systematic attack on the black intelligentsia” in South Africa, orchestrated by a harmful alliance between the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance.

Hlophe was removed from the bench yesterday by a National Assembly vote having been accused of trying to influence the Constitutional Court in a matter related to former President Jacob Zuma.

This marks the first time in South Africa’s democracy that judges have been impeached.

DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach said that the DA had once again been vindicated by the removal of Hlophe after years of the ANC government dragging its feet on his removal.

But the EFF said it condemned the “politically motivated” impeachment of Hlophe, calling it a vindictive act by certain elements of the National Assembly and "a blatant attack on judicial independence" and "a betrayal of the public’s trust in the justice system".


Cape Town driving forward with renewable energy, climate resilience programmes

Last year, Cape Town paid out R25-million to businesses which sold their surplus renewable energy to the city. And, starting this year, private citizens will be able to do the same. These developments were highlighted by Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis in an address to the Africa Green Economy Summit 2024. He described this development as “the democratisation of energy” and affirmed that it “excited” him.

The city had also, over the past year, completed three rounds of utility-scale renewable energy procurement bids, with a total capacity of 600 MW. The companies concerned could now start construction of their projects. A fourth bid round was still open and will close in mid-April.

The city was seeking to protect its residents from four levels of loadshedding, by 2026. Currently, it could only provide protection from one level.

There was also the issue of climate change. He said Cape Town was “right at the coal face of environmental change”. In the past six years, the city had endured a once-in-600-year drought, and two very wet winters. The city was currently building a coastal defence barrier, to cope with higher storm surges.


That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

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