Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Budget Speech Summary

Loyiso Langeni, Bulelani Guwa and Shadreck Settti
26 February 2014

 
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan today delivered the fifth and last Budget of President Jacob Zuma’s administration before elections.  Minister Gordhan spoke about Job creation, Social Grants, Health, Infrastructure Investments and Education which the spending is higher than any other category.

Gordhan has estimated government expenditure to be around R1.25 Trillion for the 2014/15 year around R1 trillion will be allocated through tax which means that an estimated R153 Billion will have to be borrowed from local and international.

Concerning Job creation Minister said since the low-point of the 2009 recession, employment has increased by approximately 1.3 million, as recorded in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. But unemployment of 24 per cent of the work force is still far too high. Government has a strategy that includes Implementation of the Community Work Programme in every Municipality by 2017, Establishment of special economic zone, industrial incentives, and support for agriculture and labour intensive sectors.

With Social Grants he also said the number of people eligible for grants is due to reach 16.5 million by 2016/17 and the number of social grant beneficiaries has doubled from 7.7 million in 2003/04 to 15.8 million in 2013/14.

For health since the rollout of the National Health Insurance the countries health has over the past year seen an increase in life expectancy, the reduction of in infant, child and maternal mortality as about 2.5 million people who have now excess to anti-retroviral.

Concerning infrastructure investment Minister Gordhan said they are making progress in overcoming infrastructure backlogs and investing for more inclusive growth and development like the first unit of Medupi Power station, which is expected to be completed towards the end of this year. Public infrastructure will amount to 847 billion over the next three years.    

In Education Government has allocated more than R250 billion in education over the next three years, R78 billion will go towards University subsidies and R34.3 billion for building schools.

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