From an NGO point of view the budget is extremely disappointing. Whilst transport costs (highly influenced by the cost of fuel) affect black people disproportionately higher than whites, the minister has increased fuel levies by 25.5 cents per litre. In my opinion to tax the poor and unemployed is unacceptable.
Increasing grants to pay for the higher costs creates a culture of entitlement and increases inflation leading to more pressure on NGOs.
Whilst government has not demonstrated any ability to control costs and avoid fraudulent payments, the budget makes provision for massive future expenditure and for Government debt to increase from R526 billion to R1.3 trillion. This will result in higher funding costs which will be inflationary and could result in the Rand remaining overvalued leading to lower manufactured exports and a loss of sustainable job opportunities.
Even though it buys votes, increasing expenses to compensate for past wasted expenditure or money stolen and spending billions on replacing infrastructure destroyed through lack of competent management is not a sustainable strategy.
Whilst it is anticipated that the 2010 World Cup will contribute 0.5 percent towards GDP growth, this may not be of that much value to the fiscus if most of the profits are siphoned offshore. The cost of funding the R33 billion and maintaining that infrastructure for years to come will also have to be taken into account.
With some bracket creep, the increased fuel costs and the cost of funding hundreds of billions of Rands of debt, the budget has not addressed the key national imperative of creating millions of additional jobs and producing goods for the local and export markets on a competitive and sustainable basis. The budget encourages people to live on grants which together with increased costs, could make the Rand remain overvalued and value-added South African exports unaffordable
The Siyazisiza Trust