Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

The minister of finance’s budget speech is not all doom and gloom. Yes, times are hard economically in SA and a lot of money has been wasted unnecessarily by the government. The past nine years have been extremely hard and rectifying economic mistakes will take time.

We as a country need to be more positive and look on the brighter side of things. We have come a long way as a democratic state and a lot of positive changes have also been implemented.

In his speech, Tito Mboweni showed he is grabbing the bull by its horns and addressing major challenges rather than scooping them under the carpet. 

SA is bailing out a lot of state-owned entities (SOEs); the minister wants to look at ditching those, which in the long run will cut down on the amount of money spent in “rescuing” them. The government is not a profit-run organisation, so it needs to look at ways to generate income and profits through SOEs. If that cannot happen, then one needs to look at ways of improving the situation that we are in.

Mboweni said in his budget speech: “It’s about time the country asks the question: do we still need these enterprises? If we do, can we manage them better? If we don’t need them, what should we do?”

Public servants might have mixed emotions on the minister’s decision to tackle the unsustainable public sector wage bill, which gobbles up 35% of national expenditure. Public servants that are 55 years of age will be given the possibility of early retirement. The minister mentioned that there will be no penalties when taking early retirement.

This in a way will open up opportunities to our unemployed youth, which is a positive for our country. Let us be patriotic as South Africans and assist in moving the country forward.

Phumzile Malatswane