“It is clear that the global economy is not going to be helpful over the next few years,” Moyane said. “We need to redouble our efforts to increase policy certainty, catalyse entrepreneurship, innovation and the joint experience of the private sector and the public sector so we can grow this economy.
“Notwithstanding today’s revenue outcome, the growth expectation of 0.9% for 2016 is not nearly enough to generate the kind of revenue that enables us to fund all of government’s programmes. Our focus on fiscal commitment will remain.
“We cannot spend money we do not have. We cannot borrow beyond our ability to repay. We will taper off the debt to GDP ratio. Until we can ignite growth and generate more revenue, we have to be tough on ourselves.
“We need to inculcate a culture of efficiency in our approach to spending,” he said, adding that there was legitimate scepticism that the government was serious about this.
He warned local governments that he would punish them by withholding funds to ensure they comply.
“We need to stop placing unnecessary adverts in newspapers and buying expensive cars in municipalities,” he said. “We will manage these misdemeanours by withholding certain transfers if there is an abuse of funds.”
Finally, Gordhan said he would like to thank the “most important people that have made this possible ... That is the compliant taxpayers of this country, who have contributed their fair share to ensure that the government has the resources it needs to make a difference in the lives of South Africans.” – Fin24