South Africa’s central bank should urgently insulate the rand from further financial chaos by imposing tighter exchange controls.
A lot was expected from the South African finance minister’s 2016 medium term budget which came amid an unfolding economic crisis including the higher education funding gap.
The video which shows South African President Jacob Zuma sleeping in parliament during the 2016 mid term budget is symptomatic of a much larger problem of lack of respect for the public.
South Africa’s finance minister claimed that a number of initiatives were in place to ensure that policies are actually implemented. But they were too broad and lacked urgency and conviction.
South Africa’s government should put more effort into developing concrete strategies for dealing with the factors preventing the removal of the critical constraints on economic growth.
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan would need President Zuma’s undivided support to drive bold economic reforms. But, signs suggest that he does not have such support and is undermined by the president.
South Africa’s finance minister means well, especially in his bid to cut public sector expenditure. But his success requires strong leadership and strategic alignment across the entire public sector.
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan left energy analysts disappointed by not discussing the topic in much detail.
The budget showed some sense of urgency but still fell short on implementation plans. There should have been more, particularly details on cost-cutting initiatives.
Pravin Gordhan’s Budget was indicative of gaping cracks between a finance minister and a president with widely differing world views and politics.
Higher education has done as well as could have been expected from the 2016 Budget, given South Africa’s current economic circumstances.
There are many good things about the budget, including the promised cut to the payroll, but many of the key commitments relating to how policies will support growth are, at best, pointers.
Health was not the priority in South Africa’s budget this year - more pressing issues took centre stage.
Cutting the bloated public service wage bill, as the finance minister is doing, is critically important economically. But it is sure to be unpopular with the governing ANC’s powerful labour allies.
South Africa’s finance minister delivered a good mix of macro and micro-economic strategies to ensure the country survives economic uncertainty, restores confidence and achieves some growth.
Forecasts are crucial for all economic and business activity. But looking into the future involves uncertainty and risk. Forecasts may be inaccurate, which creates a serious dilemma for policy makers
South Africans spend billions of rands paying for services that should be provided by government, thus making the tax burden considerably higher than what appears in official tax data.
Rising membership of public sector unions and the growing political influence of these unions have led to government workers earning a premium over their private sector counterparts.
South Africa’s government should urgently announce a moratorium on civil service employment growth. The country has reached its upper limit in the number of civil servants that can be sustained.
State-owned companies are not generally needed to provide goods. Rather, they are needed to provide the foundation for a well-functioning economy and a healthy, well-informed populace.