Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Halima Frost.
Making headlines: Higher revenue collections support consolidation as growth headwinds strengthen; Sanral’s R47bn Gauteng e-toll debt to be transferred to govt, roads to province; And, UN says countries’ climate plans ‘nowhere near’ 1.5oC goal
Higher revenue collections support consolidation as growth headwinds strengthen
Better-than-expected revenue collection enabled Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to report an improvement in government’s fiscal position relative to the one forecast in the February Budget.
However, slowing global and domestic growth together with ongoing power cuts pose a risk to the fiscal outlook, as does the prospect of a higher-than-budgeted public-service wage settlement.
The National Treasury has already lowered its gross domestic product growth forecast for 2022 to only 1.9%, having projected growth of 2.1% in February. GDP growth is also expected to average only 1.6% over the coming three years.
Revenue collections during the first half of 2022/23 were 9% higher than the same period of the prior year as the positive impact of high commodity prices continued.
The gross tax revenue estimate for 2022/23 was, thus, projected to be R83.5-billion higher, at R1.68-trillion, than the R1.59-trillion forecast in February.
Sanral’s R47bn Gauteng e-toll debt to be transferred to govt, roads to province
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced on Wednesday that a decision had been made to transfer Sanral’s R47-billion debt relating to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) to the national and Gauteng governments in a bid to resolve the long-standing e-toll issue.
In addition, the Gauteng provincial administration will assume responsibility for the cost of maintaining the 201 km of highway and associated interchanges, as well as any future investments.
The Gauteng administration, the Minister said, would have the power to decide whether the maintenance and any future investments would be funded through the existing electronic toll infrastructure, new toll plazas, or any other revenue source within their area of responsibility.
Godongwana announced that 70%, or R32.9-billion, would be absorbed by the national government, while the Gauteng provincial government would take on the 30% balance, or R14.1-billion.
He described the protracted uncertainty surrounding the GFIP as having had major negative implications for road construction in the country.
And, UN says countries’ climate plans ‘nowhere near’ 1.5oC goal
A new report by the United Nations has warned that the climate plans of governments worldwide remain insufficient to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
With the planet already suffering from climate-related storms, heatwaves and floods amid temperatures of 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the UN’s climate experts said on Wednesday the world was still failing to act with sufficient urgency to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world,” Simon Stiell, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, said in a statement.
“To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.”
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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