CBDP Comments on the 2013/4 Budget

Thursday, 28 February, 2013 - 13:07

This is the third year that I have written on the Budget and therefore listened intently to Pravin Gordhan’s speech. It has developed a regular format: more money for social services, Sanral and Prasa; a reduction in tax; increases in social grants and besides sin taxes, an increase in the Fuel Levy which never goes to road building and maintenance, but we are expected to pay for e-tolls!

This is the third year that I have written on the Budget and therefore listened intently to Pravin Gordhan’s speech. It has developed a regular format: more money for social services, Sanral and Prasa; a reduction in tax; increases in social grants and besides sin taxes, an increase in the Fuel Levy which never goes to road building and maintenance, but we are expected to pay for e-tolls! The best thing about it is the focus on the NDP with a huge chunk or R827 billion provided for infrastructure development.
 
Actually, if you think of it, it comes over as a bit of a carrot and stick game:
 
Personal taxes: This is a real sop to the middle classes, the minority that pays most of the taxes. Keep in mind that Dividend Tax went up by a whopping 50% from 10 to 15% last year. Add to that, according to Tim Cohen in Business Day on Monday, when you consider that the middle classes have to pay for private education, security, health and see to their own welfare, that total reaches Scandinavian proportions! So in order to prevent a tax revolt, a sop has to be thrown their way.
 
Education, Health, Social Welfare and Security: Again huge amounts thrown to these departments, and the Education Department can’t even deliver texts books? At least the Minister of Health is trying to get the health sector in order, but unless you are in dire straits you will not use the public health system as most South Africans have to as they have no choice! And they talk about this mythical National Health Insurance when they have screwed up the health system and are desperately trying to rescue what’s left of it. And then to top it all they are insisting on taking over hospitals that actually work because they happen to be in a province controlled by the DA?
 
I remember when I built a pool at my house in the mid-eighties; I was denounced as a bourgeois! I actually ended up having a meeting with these cabals who were making these pronouncements and were responsible for the demise of the UDF as they saw themselves as agents of the exiled movement and the leaders of the struggle. I asked are we all to be reduced to the lowest common denominator and not have any individual aspirations? Are we all to be reduced to living in Matchbox Houses? I won the argument. A friend said to me I must cool it as I am turning the Left into bourgeois’. But I like to point out that those self-same Stalinists who had the audacity to question my building of a pool, looking at their life styles now, one can only say `Kyk hoe lyk hulle nou! As for Social Welfare, I have submitted several applications for grants and they all have disappeared, despite an official in their office signing an acknowledgement receipt. As for Security, the SAPS serve a necessary function of providing a case number for your insurance claim and little else. The mind still boggles to think of all the incompetent ministers who will still have billions under their control to spend!
 
The prominence given to the NDP in the budget is of the utmost importance and Pravin is talking about getting value for money and rooting out corruption, although I can’t get over his statement this morning on radio that corruption is part of human nature and endemic around the world, or words to that effect.
 
We lost the development path when the RDP was crushed by elements within the Government and ruling party in 1996, and that opened the morass we find ourselves in today. We have a window or opportunity now in the NDP and all sectors of society are realising how crucial it is that it is implemented. We dare not fail this time, or as John Vosper said, the future is too ghastly to contemplate!
 
Colin Smuts
Executive Director
CBDP

NGO Services

NGO Services

NGO Events

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29