CAPE TOWN – Economists say that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden Budget speech lacked detail on how the economy will be revitalized.
Mboweni addressed Parliament on Wednesday, announcing a clampdown on overtime and bonus payments for civil servants, as well as pay progression.
He also announced that while the president’s salary will increase to R3.9 million this year, government’s salary bill must be cut by R27 billion over the next three years.
* Tito Mboweni’s 2019 Budget speech
Political analyst Daniel Silke says the budget was designed to pacify as many constituencies as possible.
“There wasn’t anything that would really stimulate growth in the economy as a result. All we did was tread water.”
Economist Dawie Roodt says the minister’s estimates on economic growth is overly optimistic.
“If you look at the numbers, the positive image the minister is putting out is not worn by the numbers. The numbers are negative.”
Wits University Economics lecturer Lumkile Mondi adds: “It’s a Budget that puts the country at potential of a downgrade from Moody’s because it shows no growth at all.”
Mboweni also announced, under strict conditions, that power utility Eskom will get R69 billion over the next three years.