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Budget Speech 2019




Budget Speech



Minister Tito Mboweni

Minister of Finance



20 February 2019


Madam Speaker

Mr President

Mr Deputy President

Cabinet Colleagues

Governor of the South African Reserve Bank

Honourable Members

MECs of Finance

Fellow South Africans

Goeie middag





On October 9, 2018, I stood before Judge Babalwa Mantame and took an Oath of Office. I said:


“I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, respect and uphold the

Constitution and all other law in the Republic; and I undertake to hold my office as

Minister with honour and dignity; to be a true and faithful counsellor … and to perform

the functions of my office conscientiously and to the best of my ability.”


Today, I submit before this august House the National Budget. It reflects, to the best of my judgment, the nation’s financial situation. It is in the interest of our people and our country, and not in the narrow objectives of any political party. It is to safeguard the sound financial status of the Republic. I do this in my role as Minister of Finance, performing my fiduciary responsibility as the guardian of the nation’s finances.


Today, I hereby table:

1. The Budget Speech,
2. The 2019 Budget Review
3. The 2019 Estimates of National Expenditure,
4. The Division of Revenue Bill,
5. The Appropriation Bill, and
6. The Public Audit Excess Fee Bill.


Madam Speaker,


In the 2019 State of the Nation Address, our President set out an ambitious agenda for our nation. It is an agenda that speaks to the South Africa that we can be. It is a task list for all of us. It lays out a series of interventions that will put South Africa on a bold new path.


How do we make this renewal a reality? I turned to the Good Book for guidance.


In Zechariah 8 verse 12 it says:

“For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their due; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.”


As a part-time farmer, I know that in order for the people to “possess all these things”, we have to plant anew.


It is time for us to sow the seed of renewal and growth.


But for the seed to be prosperous, as Zechariah enjoins us, we must first cultivate the soil. Once we have planted the seed, we must nurture it, water it, and protect it from the extremes, the elements and time.


Despite our best efforts, sometimes, ravages and risks such as pests or rot could attack our green shoots, but we must persevere; we must prune and pluck away at the rot, until there is growth. This we must do as a collective.


If we look after what we sow, and what we have ploughed and laboured over so tirelessly, since the founding of our democracy, it will grow and the seed will bear fruit. However, if we abandon our fields, the seeds we plant will wither.


A few years ago, Madam Speaker, one of my predecessors handed out succulent plums to the members of this house, to demonstrate the times of plenty we were in.


Today, we walk into this house with an iconic South African plant, the aloe ferox. This is one of the best known South African plants. It has a long history of medicinal use. It is resilient, sturdy and drought resistant. It withstands the elements. We must take the bitter with the sweet.


Today, I bring you a seed to prove that if we plant anew, we can return to those plum times.


Madam Speaker, our President has set us on a track of renewal.


But today, I will leave the poetry (and the singing) to the President.


I am here to speak about hard facts and figures.


This Budget is built on six fundamental prescripts:

1. Achieving a higher rate of economic growth
2. Increasing tax collection
3. Reasonable, affordable expenditure
4. Stabilising and reducing debt
5. Reconfiguring state-owned enterprises
6. Managing the public sector wage bill


It will not be easy. There are no quick fixes. But our nation is ready for renewal. We are ready to plant the seeds of our future.