STATEMENT ON PRO POOR BUDGET

N Abrahams – Ntantiso    ( Physical)

The ANC welcomes the Minister of Finance's Budget Speech delivered on behalf of the Executive on Wednesday 23th February 2022 in the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament. We believe the Budget 2022 speaks to the poor and vulnerable in that it increases the Social Wage to 59% of total non-interest spending. This is aimed at addressing poverty and unemployment and to support economic recovery.  Half of the population now receive at least one grant from the state. On spending programmes, we welcome the Medium-Term allocation of R76 billion for job creation programmes. In addition, R18 billion is made available for the Presidential Employment Initiative totalling R94 billion.     

The small business loan guarantees of R15 billion that will be facilitated through participating banks and development finance institutions will also assist in job opportunities. We are pleased to see that household consumption has grown by 5,6% in 2021 and is expected to grow by 2,5% in 2022. This is a major driver in the economy and a positive signal for demand side growth. We welcome the R110 billion set aside for spending priorities, these include; the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, which is extended for another 12 months; bursaries for students benefiting from the NSFAS and the Presidential Employment Initiative. Additional R32 billion financial support to current bursary holders and first year students under NSFAS.