2018 Budget Speech by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

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Honourable Speaker Mister President
Cabinet Colleagues and Deputy Ministers
Governor of the Reserve Bank
MECs of Finance Fellow South Africans
Ndi masiari
Sanibonani
Molweni
Goeie middag
Thobela
Dumelang
Avhusheni


As I begin, let me first table before this august House:

·         The Budget Speech,

·         The 2018 Budget Review, including

ü  Fiscal Framework,

ü  Revenue Proposals, including customs and excise duties,

ü  Estimates of national revenue and replies to the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Reports,

·         The Division of Revenue Bill,

·         The Appropriation Bill, and

·         The Estimates of National Expenditure.

At the very advent of our democracy, as the nation was emerging from more than three centuries of colonial oppression, which President Nelson Mandela described as an “extraordinary human disaster that [had] lasted too long”, he urged that out of that experience had to be born a society of which all humanity would be proud.

To our highly expectant nation, he addressed the following words, that:

“Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.”

Indeed, during the past twenty-three years, we have as a people striven to live up to these injunctions conferred on us by that great Leader of our people.

It is correct that as we celebrate the centenary of his birth, we should recall his words, his thoughts and injunctions, indeed his dreams for our nation, in order to remind ourselves of the mammoth journey that still lies ahead of our efforts to build this society, the country, of which humanity would be proud.

Almost twenty-four years later, President Ramaphosa captured the moment and mood aptly, in delivering his inspirational inaugural State of the Nation Address, when he said that a new dawn was upon us and urged us to renew our nation’s promise.

Declaring this a year of change, renewal and hope, he urged us to honour both Madiba and Mama Albertina Sisulu “not only in word, but, more importantly, in direct action towards the achievement of their shared vision of a better society.”

This was a profound statement, echoing the hopeful and unifying sentiments of the founders of our democracy and the living dreams of the peoples of our country.

The President proceeded to outline an abiding vision for our country that has resonated with all our people, fired all of us with hope and enthusiasm, and ignited a sense of renewal.

Towards the realization of this vision, the Budget we present today is an opportunity to reflect on the state of our nation’s finances, and the economy more broadly, but most importantly, to understand how these support our social and economic objectives.

This is the challenge of our time, to build a South Africa in which all people have a decent standard of living, access to economic opportunities and opportunity to pursue their dreams.

It is these core aspirations which the Budget must speak to, enable and indeed, advance. We stand before you with a profound sense of optimism, purpose and resolve.

All of us should heed the President’s call echoing the late, great Hugh Masekela, to lend a hand in addressing society’s most pressing challenges.

Fellow South Africans, we have the opportunity to achieve faster and more inclusive growth, to create jobs for our people and a better life for all South Africans.

That opportunity comes from a favourable global economic outlook, with many of our trading partners doing well, and from improved prices for our exports.

That opportunity comes from a fiscal framework which has improved markedly since the October medium-term budget policy statement.

That opportunity comes from a stronger rand and favourable inflation outlook.

That opportunity comes from the strong partnership which has been forged between all the social partners to prevent further ratings downgrades, and remove obstacles to investment, growth and job creation.

That opportunity comes from improving confidence, as business and consumers have responded positively to political developments over the last three months, and are anticipating progressive, ethical and decisive leadership from government.

(to be continued)

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