South Africa: Adoption of Emergency COVID-19 Budget One Step Closer

analysis

Parliament's finance committees on Tuesday adopted the report on the revised fiscal framework that underpins Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's emergency Covid-19 Budget. The DA, EFF and Freedom Front Plus rejected the report, which was carried by ANC numbers in a signal that the Special Adjustment Budget is to be approved.

It was about whether "welcoming" the R3-billion bailout of the Land Bank should rather be "noting" because a bailout by its nature indicates failure. Or whether the state should play an active role in the economy, rather than just creating an enabling environment.

It was about whether to call on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to brief the committees on the low take-up of the R200-billion loan guarantee scheme, as suggested by DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, and Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Joe Maswanganyi's quick retort, "So now you want an active state" in an echo of the earlier debate.

And it was about getting a full briefing on the zero-based budgeting approach Mboweni had talked about when tabling the Special Adjustment Budget on 24 June. Some discussion unfolded over whether this was an actual Cabinet decision, or just a ministerial statement.

That Special Adjustment Budget was a...

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