Minister Enoch Godongwana is a pragmatist, and he must show this in his maiden budget speech, notes the writer. File photo: WERNER HILLS
Minister Enoch Godongwana is a pragmatist, and he must show this in his maiden budget speech, notes the writer. File photo: WERNER HILLS

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will present his maiden medium term budget policy statement in trying times. His party, bloodied at last week’s local government elections after more than a decade of corruption and incapable governance, has left the country reeling.

Prasa has been looted right down to railway tracks, the energy crisis grinds on in the absence of any plans  to deal with Eskom’s balance sheet,  which all started with ANC’s funding arm, Chancellor House. To his credit, Godongwana did question the involvement of Chancellor House at the time, when deputy minister of Public Enterprises.

Ageing and poorly maintained water infrastructure is now becoming the next binding constraint to growth. Besides the Covid-19 pandemic SA’s unemployment rate now stands at 34.4%. we now has have the world’s highest unemployment. The only two sectors showing any signs of growth are still mired in policy uncertainty, thanks to interminable debates about expropriation without compensation and the fact that minerals were in effect expropriated under the MPRDA, which has seen exploration investment plunge.

The time for pussyfooting is over. Let’s welcome our panel to preview this critical fiscal statement of intent: Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec; Hugo Pienaar, chief economist at the Bureau for Economic Research; and Lebogang Mulaisi, labour market policy co-ordinator at Cosatu

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