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Budget Speech 2017

Summary of the 2017 Budget


Madam Speaker, today’s Budget message is that we are once again at a crossroads. Tough choices have to be made to achieve the development outcomes we seek:

Economic growth is slow, unemployment is far too high and many businesses and families are under stress.
We face an uncertain and complex global environment.
At the same time we face immense transformation challenges – we must overcome the inequalities and divisions of our society. All South Africans must share in a more prosperous future.
We have a plan for a more inclusive, shared economy. Its implementation requires greater urgency and effective collaboration among all social stakeholders.
Change is difficult, and often contested. In these tough times we draw strength from the resilience and the diverse capabilities of our people, our business sector, our unions and our social formations.


The key features of the framework for the 2017 Budget include the following:

Expenditure is within the envelope projected in last year’s budget.
An additional R28 billion will be raised in taxes.
The budget deficit for 2017/18 will be 3.1 per cent of GDP, in line with our fiscal consolidation commitment.
Government debt will stabilise at about 48 per cent of GDP over the next three years.
Redistribution in support of education, health services and municipal functions in rural areas remains the central thrust of our spending programmes.
Government’s wage bill has stabilised. Procurement reforms continue to improve the effectiveness of public spending and opening opportunities for small business participation.
Our state-owned companies and finance institutions play a substantial role in infrastructure investment and financing development. Their borrowing requirements are taken into account in the overall fiscal framework.


As in past years, Honourable Members, the Budget Review and the Estimates of National Expenditure provide extensive details of developments in the economy, our fiscal and budget plans and the programmes and activities of government departments and public entities.


But there is a larger purpose, a moral vision and intent behind these plans and programmes. We need to build a new national consensus and a new commitment to deliver, focused on the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. President Zuma articulated this intent in the State of the Nation Address, rightly emphasising the radical nature of the socio-economic transformation we need.


Our growth challenge is intertwined with our transformation imperative. We need to transform in order to grow, we need to grow in order to transform. Without transformation, growth will reinforce inequality; without growth, transformation will be distorted by patronage.