Jean-Jacques Cornish

SA braces for tax hikes next year

South Africa’s finance minister warned his compatriots to expect big tax hikes in next year’s Budget.

Delivering his mid-term budget in parliament, he says South Africa’s economy at a turning point. It  reflects the slide on the global environment but also strikes , domestic energy shortages and administrative shortcoming.

South Africa’s economic performance looking like it did during the days of international pressure against the apartheid regime.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene halved the forecast growth rate down to 1.4% for 2014. That’s a third of what the World Bank’s expecting for the rest of Africa.

South Africa’s five percent annual growth rate fell off after the 2009 global recession.

It’s struggled to reach 2%   since then.

Nene’s warned public service workers that government simply cannot pay them increases exceeding the inflation rate of 6.3%.

He forecasts growth will increase to 3% by 2015 as new energy comes on stream.

But this is still short of the rate required to impact on the country’s 25 percent unemployment.

Nene says he’ll rein in spending and increase taxes to cut the current budget deficit from 4% to two-and-a-half percent by 2015.

He’s adamant that the spending cuts won’t compromise social services and financial support for the poor in one of the most unequal societies on the planet.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.