Everyone in South Africa will be affected by certain measures announced by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in Wednesday's Budget. An increased fuel levy and the 1% VAT hike will cause pain in particular for South Africa's low or no-income households - while NGOs say the commensurate increase in social grants payments will do little to cushion the blow.
A "bitter pill to swallow".
That's how the Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse's Wayne Duvenage described the tax increases in the 2018 budget to Daily Maverick - coming as they do "against the backdrop of rampant maladministration and corruption that is the legacy of the Zuma era".
It was a sentiment apparently widely felt on Wednesday.
Public sector union the Public Servants Association (PSA) expressed concern about "the detrimental, ripple effect on especially middle- and low-income earners of the 52-cents increase on the fuel levy and the increase of VAT to 15%".
In a statement, PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks said: "The PSA understands the need to grow the GDP, but the poor should not pay a higher price to get us there."
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in his Budget speech that government "has taken deliberate steps to...