The GOOD Party leader, Patricia de Lille, says that she welcomes Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s identification of the six priorities, during his Budget Speech, which the government will have to act on if it plans to fix South Africa.
These six priorities are achieving higher economic growth, increasing tax revenue, incurring expenditure the country can afford, stabilizing national debt, fixing state-owned enterprises and managing the public sector.
The GOOD Party says that they have already identified these priorities in their “Plan to Fix South Africa (#FIXSA).”
De Lille said in a statement that the six priorities will contribute to the achievement of financial stability that the country needs.
“This will go a long way to achieving the financial stability we need in order to improve the quality of life of the millions of South Africans who are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and unemployment. Those who are trapped in unemployment and poverty must be our priority. The face of poverty and unemployment is increasingly black and female.”
However, de Lille says that following through with sensible action steps is what counts as less talk and more action is needed.
She also says that increasing the pension by R80 and the child care grant by R20 per month will make the elderly and child caregivers increasingly poorer as those provisions are below average inflation.
“Our efforts should be to lift those who are dependent on the state out of poverty. Not make them increasingly worse off in real terms,” the party said.
The former Cape Town Mayor says that government has failed, 25 years into democracy, as the country has a divergence between the rapidly changing economy and skills set, high levels of youth unemployment and declining job prospects. The party says that, under the ANC government, it will be increasingly difficult for unemployed young South Africans to get jobs.
“This is a massive failure of our government’s incoherent and uncertain economic growth strategy and a massive failure of our education system.”
She has urged South Africa to introduce a universal income grant.
“We could fund a universal income grant, which would alleviate the social and economic trauma of rampant unemployment and inhumane hunger, with savings made from eliminating the looting. A government that is committed to eliminating rampant theft and corruption is capable of implementing a universal or basic income grant, incrementally. South Africa has the resources to do this.”
De Lille has welcomed Mboweni’s acknowledgment of the urbanization trend in South Africa.
However, she says that allocating 9% of the budget to local government shows that the ANC doesn’t understand the resources pressures faced by the sphere of government where people are living. She also says that the government has failed cities and towns.
“Preparing for that future is our duty and the ANC has failed to grasp that you cannot talk about vertical development and think you have dealt with urbanization. Cities and towns need the powers and the resources to plan and build for that future.”
De Lille commended Mboweni for ignoring DA’s proposal to increase business and corporate taxes in order to fund free higher education. She says that when the economy is growing by less than 1% annually, it is irresponsible to want to extract money from an active economy that is already under pressure.
The GOOD Party has welcomed Mboweni’s plan to break Eskom into three components to allow for more competition. The party also welcomed Mboweni’s proposal to cut government’s operating costs and the costs of the public service through natural attrition.