Tito Mboweni gestures as he delivers his budget to parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Picture: BLOOMBERG / DWAYNE SENIOR
Tito Mboweni gestures as he delivers his budget to parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Picture: BLOOMBERG / DWAYNE SENIOR

In many respects finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget speech was like old wine in a new bottle — not that different from previous years.

The budget was progressive overall, especially when it comes to personal income tax as it affords some relief to people we regard as middle class. That VAT was not increased as some predicted also came as a relief.

The proposal that churches be taxed should be welcomed. Churches are frequently businesses in disguise, and should therefore be treated as such. We cant have institutions preying on the poor and vulnerable for profit and investing the money offshore. Such “churches” need to be thoroughly regulated.

However, it is worrying that the fuel levy was increased yet again. Transport costs are a big problem for the working class and poor, who have to rely on public transportation to and from work and school. Transport costs will rise, even though salaries will remain the same.

SA needs leaders who will ensure that the money allocated in terms of this budget will be used as intended. Corruption has been the biggest problem faced by this country for decades, and we need strict measures to eradicate it.

Tom Mhlanga
Braamfontein

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