‘We’ll resolve SA’s challenges by working together’ — Godongwana

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has called on South Africans – both citizens and private business – to work together with government to resolve the challenges the country faces.  

The minister was speaking during a post-Budget Speech discussion held in Cape Town on Thursday morning.

Key issues facing the economy

In his Budget Speech on Wednesday, Godongwana highlighted electricity and logistics challenges as two of the key issues facing the economy.

“We need to work together to address these challenges. For instance, there are a number of business people who have come forward. Business associations have come forward with talent to work with government. Working with government in what is called the NECOM [National Energy Crisis Committee] to address the electricity challenges.


“Building on that template, business has come forward, working with government. They developed what is called now the [Freight] Logistics Roadmap. We need, as South Africans and even as government, not to be arrogant and accept solutions. Accept solutions from different people across the board,” he said.

Godongwana said on crime, government has brought in business “to work with us on how we can deal with crime”.

In a frank discussion regarding the country’s challenges, the minister said government takes responsibility for some issues.

Government takes responsibility

“We have got challenges. The government has got to take the responsibility for some of these challenges. I can’t say I’m happy with the fact that we’ve not been able to deal with the electricity challenge for 16 years. It is a fundamental flaw…which has cost the economy substantially,” he said.

The minister explained why National Treasury left most taxes – barring sin taxes and carbon tax – unchanged. He said solutions to broadening revenue lie elsewhere.

Broaden the tax base

“Our tax strategy is to broaden the base than increasing taxes. If you…compare us to our peers, tax to GDP, we are not comparing favourably. So…we should not be working hard to say how much should we tax people more. We should be saying how do we broaden that tax base.

“There are a number of ways of doing it. And first, fundamentally, is to grow the economy. But we can only grow the economy if we bring in all of our solutions. And I think we can do it working together,” he said.

  • SAnews.gov.za

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