In light of the political turmoil of the past six months, we are delighted with the depth and foresight of the 2018 National Budget Review Framework. In the midst of state capture allegations, it is pleasing to note the quality of skills and level of commitment of staff within National Treasury.
As expected, it is, as Minister Gigaba stated at the start of his budget speech, “a tough but hopeful budget”.
Even though the fiscal deficit will remain for some time, the measures that have been taken demonstrate the resolve and willingness of the Ramaphosa administration to reverse the decade of economic decay that preceded his election.
All the ingredients to achieve the long-overdue return to sustainable economic growth, whilst also addressing the socio-economic demands of the largely populist mandate that got President Ramaphosa elected, have been included.
It is a budget that should settle some of the concerns of the credit rating agencies. This, together with the change in leadership, is likely to restore confidence in South Africa as an investment destination for both foreign and local investors.
The challenge will now be for Government, business and labour to find common ground to work together towards achieving the same goals.