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Budget Speech 2019



Let me turn to our spending projections. Since October, government has taken steps to adjust baseline expenditure downwards by a total of R50.3 billion over the medium term. Half of these reductions come from adjustments to government’s spending on compensation. R12.8 billion comes from measures to reduce spending on specific programmes.


Provisional allocations are made for the financial support to Eskom and the Infrastructure Fund. This offsets the baseline reductions and as such the expenditure ceiling is revised upwards by R16 billion over the next three years.


In October, I quoted Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. After a few months in the role, I feel that Oliver Twist might be more appropriate this time.


In short, ‘Please Sir, may I have some more.’


The SOEs pose very serious risks to the fiscal framework. Funding requests from SAA, SABC, Denel, Eskom and other financially challenged state-owned enterprises have increased, with several requesting state support just to continue operating. Isn’t it about time the country asks the question: do we still need these enterprises? If we do, can we manage them better? If we don’t need them, what should we do?