The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has taken note of today’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), delivered by Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, in the National Assembly today.
The IFP is extremely concerned about the state of the fiscus following today’s MTBPS.
Among others, the Minister spoke at length about the crippling impact that the lack of a reliable energy supply has had upon the economy, yet no concrete plans were offered to rectify the dire state of Eskom.
Further, he admitted, “Over the next three years the growth of the local economy is expected to average 1.7 percent, reflecting some structural weaknesses such as inadequate energy supply.”
He further admitted that “All of our efforts over the past 13 years have been to fix Eskom”. This is indeed a shocking admission of guilt, with the government admitting they are responsible for the absolute shambles that is our national energy supplier.
Further shocking admissions included South Africa’s adoption of a “counter-cyclical fiscal policy”, where government “spent more than we were receiving in tax revenues on a consistent basis”, which “did not meaningfully increase growth”. The decisions taken by the current government have left South Africa R4 trillion in debt.
Our debt-service costs will rise from R269.2 billion in 2021/22, to R365.8 billion in 2024/25. Again, the Minister brazenly admitted this is more than the health and SAPS budgets.
The people of South Africa have been betrayed by those who were entrusted to manage the public purse.
A small glimmer of hope was the announcement that SOEs will not receive further bailouts and would be restructured – however, details around this were also scant and there are still outstanding debts to be honoured.
More vague promises were made regarding the 43 municipalities “in financial crisis”, with a mention of an additional 100 at-risk municipalities. As the IFP, we expect to see detailed plans regarding turnaround strategies for these municipalities, as well as detailed timelines and goals to be met. Consequence management must also be rolled out to deal with municipalities that fail to meet the specified targets.
As the IFP, we have seen through the results from the recent Local Government Elections that the people of South Africa are hungry for good governance, accountability and sound fiscal management.
We will work tirelessly in the municipalities where we govern and ensure that our communities receive reliable service delivery.
In Parliament, our MPs will continue to pose questions and hold government accountable where they falter.
Our Caucus will be interrogating the MTBPS and asking the difficult questions on behalf of our constituencies.
Hon. Inkosi Em Buthelezi, MP
IFP Deputy President
072 390 6112