Budget 2024: Godongwana urged to implement reforms, invest in infrastructure

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has been urged to deliver a budget that will growth the economy. Picture: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has been urged to deliver a budget that will growth the economy. Picture: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

Published Feb 20, 2024


Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has been urged to stimulate the economy, create jobs, reduce poverty and put more financial resources in the fight against crime.

Political parties said on Tuesday when Godongwana delivers his Budget, he must prioritise infrastructure investment and unlock the economy.

The economy has been stagnant for years and the ports have slowed down growth due to inefficiencies.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Democratic Alliance (DA), GOOD Party and Build One South Africa (Bosa) said Godongwana must provide direction to a country that just saw a rise in unemployment figures causing more damage to the ailing economy.

Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday unemployment rose from 31.9% to 32.1% in the third quarter.

This is against the backdrop of rising crime levels and collapsing infrastructure.

Bosa said the Budget by Godongwana on Wednesday should give South Africans direction in the face adversity, as people were wondering what the country would look like in 10 years if the economy does not improve.

“The most pressing priority right now is how to ignite rapid economic growth through expansive foreign direct investment. There needs to be a concerted effort to attract back the over R1 trillion in investment that has left our shores over the past decade. This is the challenge that lies before the finance minister ahead of the Budget Speech.

“The “beg, borrow and steal” strategy has run its course. Citizens cannot be squeezed for more taxes. And our borrowing is already too high as Debt-to-GDP sits at over 70%,“ said Bosa.

Bosa also called for government to fix the energy crisis, crack down on crime and invest in infrastructure.

GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron said Godongwana must focus on the growth crisis.

He said the economic growth of 1% this year and 1.3% will not stimulate the economy.

He said the austerity measures government was implementing will further slow down the growth rate.

The only way to get out of the crisis was to invest in infrastructure.

“The Minister must invest in the basics of economic growth - infrastructure: electricity supply, freight transport networks, water infrastructure and digital communications. This was already planned for in the 2022 National Infrastructure Plan and it needs funding and speeding up,” said Herron.

To create more jobs, the economy needs to grow by 5% to 6%. This will help reduce unemployment.

The IFP called on government to invest in infrastructure, and give more resources to local government.

It said Godongwana must not make promises his government will not be able to deliver on.

They want Godongwana to fix the load shedding energy crisis in the country.

Investment in infrastructure was key for the State.

“The IFP certainly expects of the Minister to announce an increase in infrastructure development projects, particularly in rural areas, this includes roads, bridges, town planning, new bulk water and storm-water drainage and sewer systems,” said the IFP.

The DA said they were making a number of proposals to get the economy back on track.

It said the economy needs a number of reforms.

The economy was reeling because of the crises created by government. It said the ANC government has failed to address a number of issues hampering growth.

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