By: Aviwe Mtila
Job creation, which has escalated to an alarming high of 27.7 per cent, and small business development top the list of South Africa’s spending priorities. Over 30 million South Africans live on less than R1 000 per month.
This is contained in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), delivered by the country’s Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, in Cape Town this afternoon.
“Creating jobs and dramatically rolling back the tide of unemployment remains our most urgent priority,” says Gigaba.
The MTBPS states that Cabinet approved a Mandate Paper in August to guide the spending choices of national government. It further states that this was done to strengthen alignment of the national budget, the medium-term strategic framework and the National Development Plan (NDP) during the remaining term of the current administration.
The proposed seven expenditure priorities are as follows:
The MTBPS goes on to state that over the next three years, consolidated expenditure will grow by an annual average of 7.3 per cent, from R1.6 trillion in 2017/18 to R1.9 trillion in 2020/21. This is mainly attributed to Community Development, Learning and Culture, and Health.
The fastest-growing category of expenditure is debt-service costs, which grows by 11 per cent, says the MTBPS.