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Budget Speech 2017

South Africa's growth and transformation

The Budget and transformation


Madam Speaker, the budget gives effect to our transformation action agenda by financing government programmes which:

Ensure that many more people live in dignity every year,
Radically improve access to services and economic participation across all racial lines,
Energise growth and create jobs,
Increase investment and development – at national, provincial and local level –mobilising resources across government, business and other sectors.


A growing economy makes more rapid transformation possible, but it is the fiscal system that is the most direct vehicle for redistribution and inclusivity. The South African budget finances the construction of houses and schools, the education of young people, care for the elderly and incomes of the most vulnerable. About two-thirds of the Budget is dedicated to realising social rights.  We have programmes that build infrastructure, support new businesses, empower small farmers, develop human capabilities and incentivise job creation.


The budget is highly redistributive to poor and working families. It also redistributes substantial resources from the urban economy to fund services in rural areas. The formulas used to distribute resources to provinces and municipalities are governed by transparent rules in which equity and needs are the primary consideration.


But budgets alone cannot achieve our transformation goals. We need a powerful combination of:

Effective and targeted government delivery of economic programmes,
An energetic coalition with labour, business and civil society,
A consensus on a transformation programme – with each of us clear about the contribution and sacrifices we have to make to ensure optimal inclusivity,
A commitment to eradicate gross inequality and share the benefits of growth and restructuring of the economy.


Government can be an important catalyst. But it cannot carry all of the responsibility for ensuring that every citizen experiences a palpable change in wealth, dignity and well-being.


This has to be our collective choice.