Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
28 Mar 2020
12:18 pm

Mboweni should table urgent new budget after lockdown – DA

Citizen Reporter

The official opposition is basing their call on the fact that none of the revenue and growth assumptions on which the national February budget was based are still available. 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni places an Aloe ferox plant on the podium prior to delivering his budget speech in parliament, 26 February 2020. Picture: AFP

The DA has called for finance minister Tito Mboweni table a new emergency budget in Parliament as soon as the current national lockdown is over.

The party’s call comes in the wake of rating agency Moody’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating to junk status.

According to the DA, this is largely explained by two things: “the government’s inability to get our national debt under control, and its inability to reform the electricity sector to allow for competitive generation”.

“Our economic outlook is definitely worsened by the current coronavirus crisis, but this is not the primary cause of this downgrade,” added the DA.

The official opposition is basing their call on the fact that none of the revenue and growth assumptions on which the national February budget was based are still available.

“The Minister should see this as an opportunity to table an entirely new budget which lays the groundwork for a recovery once this crisis is over, and more importantly, fundamentally changes South Africa’s economic trajectory.”

“If we do not fundamentally change course our fiscal position will become unsustainable, and will make an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout necessary and unavoidable,” cautioned the party.

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The DA is under the impression that the country is on a course of slow and relentless decline that must be stopped and turned around with decisive action from both the Ramaphosa and Mboweni.

“For as long as there is no fundamental economic policy reform to turn South Africa’s economy away from strangling state control and towards growth, there will not be hope of regaining our investment-grade rating.”

The party concluded by suggesting a number of interventions for the ANC government such as holding a firm line against trade unions who are intent on reversing the decision to cut R160 billion from the state wage bill, reducing the number of public sector managers who do not deliver front-line services and supporting the DA’s proposed Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which holds the key to reducing national debt and debt service costs.

The DA also suggests freeing South Africans from Eskom’s death spiral by opening the energy market to IPPs, disinvesting from zombie state-owned enterprises, immediately putting a stop to further bailouts and introducing far-ranging reforms to ease up the labour regime and end the centralised power of bargaining councils.

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