Index National budget speech 2014
Date Added: 04 March 2014

On the 27th of February 2014, the Speaker of the Cacadu District Municipality, Cllr Deon de Vos. hosted a public viewing of the national budget speech at the Rietbron Community hall in the Baviaans Local Municipality. During this time, the speech was delivered in Cape Town by the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan.

In his speech, the Minister highlighted the achievements of the past five years, taking the very difficult post-recession climate into consideration. The Minister also acknowledged that there is more work ahead. He was direct in stating that the world economy is still in difficulty, and global institutions are struggling to find their way. To gain momentum with regards to creating jobs and reducing poverty, we have to grow our economy at 5% a year or more. In South Africa we were able to stabilize our economy after the 2008 crisis and subsequently achieved a recovery in growth and jobs.

He then continued to elaborate on what he called “the agenda for transformation” where he spoke of the plans for the period ahead, which are focused on the transformation necessities that will accelerate growth, create work opportunities and build a more equal society. He urged South Africans to work together towards a radical change of our economy. He explained that this means working with major businesses so that they spark development across the globe and working with black entrepreneurs to grow their companies across South Africa and beyond.

The minister continued to echo the words of President Jacob Zuma that we truly have come a long way and have a good story to tell. He also mentioned that R115 billion was spent on higher education over the past five years, including R18.6 billion on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and R41 billion on HIV and AIDS programmes, while R43.5 billion is budgeted for this purpose over the next three years. The budgeted amount for infrastructure investment for the next three years amounts to R847 billion.

Among other announcements, the Minister announced that the budget provides for R9.3 billion in income tax relief to households. The number of children receiving grant support will increase to 11.4 million and 433 schools will be rebuilt. Good news for farmers is that nearly 50 000 subsistence and small-holder farmers will receive training and financial support.

The Minister spoke of the increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, adding 9 cents to the price of a 340ml can of beer and 68 cents to a packet of cigarettes. Whiskey will go up by R4.80 per bottle. These increases take place effective immediately.

After the speech, Speaker De Vos engaged with the community of Rietbron, explaining the implications of the speech and answering any questions that the community had.