On Monday, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Shadow Minister of Finance, Geordin Hill-Lewis, will dish out the party’s expectations ahead of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), that will be delivered by Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, on Wednesday.
Political parties have begged Mboweni to stop giving government life-lines
Opposing parties have pleaded with Mboweni to refrain from giving further bail-outs to state-owned entities, and National Treasury has recently announced that the current economic path is unsustainable with the country facing the triple threat of slow economic growth, unemployment and high rates of inequality.
The Finance Minister is anticipated to make announcements on Eskom, other embattled state-owned entities, and indicate any adjustments that may be recommended to Parliament in respect of the current year’s expenditure plans.
“Our economy is on the verge of collapse, local governments are in disarray, public finances are still being squandered and our “zombie” state-owned entities pose a serious fiscal risk. We can only hope that the Finance Minister will be able to reassure rating agencies and that the MTBPS will provide a clear direction to stabilise the economy.”
National Assembly has approved Eskom’s Special Appropriations Bill
Eskom is crippled with debt and the National Assembly has approved the Special Appropriations Bill, which brings Eskom at the edge of gaining its R59 billion government bail-out over the next three years, as Mboweni laments the power utility’s problems are more than requesting bail-outs because competent management is required to upkeep its sustainability.
“So one of the key issues we need to solve is by appointing the correct people to run Eskom. That is what we need to do. We must appoint the correct board of directors, we must appoint a competent management team. And we must then be in a position to hold the board of directors and the management team accountable for the operations of Eskom. The problem at Eskom is not just financial.”
Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni
National Treasury has discussed an economic growth agenda
On 17 October, Mboweni hosted the third economic colloquium, which discussed an economic growth agenda from National Treasury; the Minister reiterated that the slow economy needs fresh implementation of policies and states if at least 30% of plans could be implemented “great progress” would be made.
“One of the biggest constraints to economic growth in South Africa is the lack of implementation about things that were decided upon. If we at least implement 30% of the things we said we would implement, then we would be making great progress.”
Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni