26 February 2014

South Africa: Budget 2014 - Parties React


Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan released the final budget of President Jacob Zuma's first term administration on Wednesday. Gordhan had to walk a fine line and opposition parties are asking whether he did enough to boost jobs and, more importantl,y whether the proposals can be implemented.

Democratic Alliance shadow finance minister Tim Harris commended Gordhan for not bowing to election pressure but criticised the budget for failing to tackle South Africa's problems.

Gordhan frequently cited the National Development Plan (NDP) as guiding the budget but little has been done on the implementation of issues such as holding teachers to account, getting infrastructure investment to 10%, reforming the public service, and boosting business growth through regulatory reform. "We needed really brave announcements and we didn't get that from the minister today," said Harris.

"Implementation has not happened because the ideological enemies of the NDP are many, at the highest level of governments and the president is not prepared to take them on.

The main result is that we have failed to create sufficient jobs to begin to absorb the 1.4 million South Africans who have become unemployed in President Zuma's term of office," said Harris in a statement. He...

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