Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s long-awaited and highly anticipated National Budget speech disappointingly just became yet another budget with no clear direction or firm plans in action to boost public and investor confidence this election year. This after the nation held high hopes on how Mboweni was going to tackle the Eskom crisis and employment creation.
The introduction of carbon tax will add to the rising fuel levy and will hurt workers at the pumps and their public transport expenses. There is no clear indication as to what the carbon tax is for: Is it to help fight global warming or discourage people from driving and to rather make use of alternative forms of transport?
Similar confusion reigned when the minister announced plans to cut the state’s wage bill by allowing those employees close to retirement age to leave early. Is now not the time to allow younger people to head ministries and be the change we want to see?
There was also no indication of any clear plans on the alleviation of unemployment or the creation of an environment conducive to job creation. Mboweni pointed out that the private sector was key in job creation and referred to last year’s Job Summit but not much more.
For a government that has been in place for so long to keep repeating that they are reviewing possible ways to assist our struggling State-owned Entities is a slap in the face of thinking South Africans who expected to see the necessary plans in place long before these businesses were run into the ground.
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