Speech by Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba
GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS TO STIMULATE INCLUSIVE GROWTH
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday the Treasury was looking for ways to cut government spending further and reallocate funds to help boost growth while maintaining its fiscal target.
“We do realise that there are hard decisions to be made … that may require that we look at further cuts to government spending and programmes,” Gigaba told a news conference. The Treasury was committed to the fiscal target it announced when the annual budget was adopted in February, he said.
Gigaba said hard economic times were affecting the Treasury’s plan to expand the economy.
“In this context, our 2017 growth projection of 1.3 percent may not be realised,” he said. “This continues the trend of low growth over the last several years, undermining our progress in significantly reducing inequality, unemployment and poverty.”
David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance
The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba’s, press conference on the “way forward”, following the shocking news that the economy had slipped into recession, was a complete disaster.
The fact that the press conference took place nine days after the announcement that the economy had slipped into recession, and three days after postponing a press conference to deal with the fact that the economy has slipped into recession, created the impression that the Minister would announce new measures to deal with the recession.
However, after delivering a 2698-word press statement, during a marathon two-hour press conference, all the Minister was able to announce was that President Jacob Zuma would be convening a full-day meeting in two weeks time with the “economic cluster” to deal with the recession.
The fact is that the Minister’s press conference was a complete disaster that will damage the investor confidence it was presumably designed to restore and it demonstrates there is no recession-fighting plan in place in South Africa.