SPEECH BY ALF LEES TO THE NCOP
Much has already been said since the Minister announced his budget and there has been considerable critique of the fiscal framework that has been proposed.
There are both positive and not so good aspects to this framework.
Whilst there is an encouraging reduction in the predicted deficit at 4,6% one of the consequences of this is a predicted growth rate of a mere 2,7% as compared with other similar economies where 6,9% is considered poor. The allocation of R 845 bil for infrastructure build is certainly impressive. The tax incentives for special Economic Zones are welcomed and have been called for by the DA for a long time.
Unfortunately the current performance of many ministries indicates that many of these worthy spends, especially the desperately needed infrastructure spend, are unlikely to be achieved unless there is radical change in the way business is done. The past and current performance of ministries clearly indicates that the good intentions of the Minister of Finance are by and large discounted by the ANC alliance partners particularly COSATU (We hear very little from the Communists who appear to be more intent on occupying lucrative positions in parliament and cabinet than they are in promoting the mandate of their party). I digress, we must also include in this category the other cabinet ministers and dare I say it even the President. This observation is probably best supported by the callous abandonment of the 3,2 mil unemployed youth who have and are being condemned to a life of no opportunities by the non-implementation of the DA supported Youth Wage Subsidy. This subsidy was announced by the President some 2 years ago but has not been implemented due to the undue influence of COSATU who seem only to represent those South Africans who are employed and from whose hard earned pay they extract money to invest in new and lavish offices, fancy cars and state of the art computers for themselves.