South Africa’s 21st democratic Budget’s brought bad news for consumers facing a triple whammy of hiked taxes, electricity and fuel prices.
However the finance minister promises government will do what it can to save money.
South Africans face their first tax increase in two decades because the country’s swimming in debt
The nation faces its biggest budget deficit since the ANC came to power.
As its contribution, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says government will cut the spending ceiling by one point five billion euros.
He predicts GDP growth over the next year will be only two percent – less than a third of what the country needs to create jobs and grow the economy.
South Africans had braced for higher taxes. The increase of one percent across all brackets was less than many had expected.
Nevertheless economist Okkie Kellerman says the impact will be on those who can least afford it.
The crisis in electricty supply is really hurting the economy.
Nene says some of the tariff increases are only temporary
Education, health, crime fighting and social grants get the biggest slice of the Budget in a country where 16 million people depend on government handouts for survival.