#BudgetSpeech2024: South Africa Needs an Infrastructure Boost

Feb 19, 2024 | Press Releases

The IFP notes that this will be Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s last budget speech of this term, in fact it is the last ANC budget speech that will be delivered in Parliament, as we all know that after the 2024 National and Provincial Election, we will form a new government and usher in a new era of making every cent work for South Africans.

We expect nothing new from the Minister, and we note the fact that it doesn’t matter what he says, nothing will change under an ANC administration. This budget speech takes place at a time when the economy finds itself nearing cliffs edge.

After 30 years in controlling the purse strings of the public’s money, the ANC must be cautioned to not fiscally dump finances onto quick election-winning projects to scurry favour with the electorate.

We caution the Minister to not deliver a speech that will only sound “nice” to the electorate but that cannot be implemented by government.

It is our hope that the ANC does not commit government’s resources to “pie in the sky” plans or take on any new debt, that will likely result in setting up the next government for failure.

If this was a true, dutiful, and service oriented government with the interest of the people at heart, the Minister would do well to do the following:

  • Getting government debt under control,
  • Invest in sectors that will retain existing jobs and create new work opportunities for the millions of unemployed South Africans,
  • Focus on the country’s bulk infrastructure programmes, including roads and rail, agriculture and mineral resources, and water and sanitation systems,
  • Assisting small, medium, and micro enterprises to grow, through grant spending, and
  • Providing more funding for local governments across the country, as the IFP is on record in having called for a Local Government Economic Development Grant.

History has proven that the ANC is not willing to listen to any advice on growing the economy. If one considers all the money that has been spent on every department over the years, it is shameful that instead of moving us forward, the public’s money has been lost to corruption and maladministration.

This time around, when the ruling party is at its weakest, we hope that our recommendations are taken into consideration.

Minister Godongwana is expected to deliver an address that will try to cost the plans of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address. This we believe is likely to fail, as we see it as a last-minute attempt by the ANC government to salvage what is left of the economy that has been left in ruin.

The IFP will fine comb through each budget line item and will closely monitor government’s spending.

Furthermore, we expect that at the top of the Finance Minister’s agenda is the urgent need to keep the lights on in the country and to spend accordingly to avoid another year of over 300 days of loadshedding.

Therefore, an announcement to partially-privatise Eskom and to focus on alternative and renewable sources of energy would be welcomed. So too, would we welcome public-private partnerships for the over 100 State Owned Entities that are underperforming.

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.

Urgent attention should also be given to the maintenance of existing infrastructure, such as all National and Provincial Hospitals and the restoration of clinics and health care facilities, schools, and training colleges nationwide.

We can only hope that among all the items to be addressed by the Minister that South Africa is not left poorer when a change of government takes place after the National and Provincial Elections this year.

Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi, MP
IFP Deputy President and Spokesperson on Finance
072 390 6112

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