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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan today
tabled the budget speech for 2013/14 financial year.
The Minister reiterated President Jacob
Zuma`s words, during the State of Nation Address, when he said all citizens
should put South Africa first.
Gordhan during the 2012 budget pointed out
that global economic uncertainty will remain and South Africa’s economy is
improving but requires that we actively pursue a different trajectory if we are
to address the challenges ahead.
He referred to the National Development
Plan as the new trajectory that can shift South Africa towards economic
growth and job creation.
This year’s budget brought a lot of changes
from social grants, education, health, transport and infrastructure, job
creation and funding for small businesses.
The old age grant, disability grant and
care dependency grant received an increase of R60, taking them to R 1 260,
from R1200 in the previous year.
Education, sports and culture was allocated
about R233 billion in 2013/14 financial year, in 2012/13 financial year R 221 billion
was allocated, this aimed at working towards improving numeracy, literacy programmes
also increase enrolment in grade R and reduce school infrastructure backlogs.
The non-delivery of textbooks in some schools and vandalism in schools has
forced the increase in the allocation.
About R700 million has been allocated for
the refurbishment of 259 workshops and training of over 1 500 technology
Gordhan said work has already begun in the
refurbishment of teacher training colleges in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.
Minister said Health infrastructure remains
a priority, in 2012 a total 1 967 health facilities and 29 nursing colleges
were in different stages of planning, construction and refurbishment. The
Health and Social Protection was allocated R268 billion, in 2013/14 compared to
R 251 billion in 2012/13.
Local Government and Housing was allocated
R 132 billion, to improve human settlements living conditions and ensure
adequate water supply is achieved.
Transport was allocated R 74,6 billion spread
over a period of three years, for construction of new roads, improving the
transport system and repairing of roads after the floods in places such as
Kwazulu Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
Minister said there will be higher funding
projects of non-governmental organisation and for working for fisheries, also
the expanded Public Works programme aims to support 684 800 fulltime
equivalent job sin 2013/14, the allocation for employment will increase by 13,5
% over the next three years. Such an increase might bring some relief to the
department that was the hardest hit by wage disputes in 2012, from mining
sector to the agricultural sector that led to the new wage deal for farmworkers
being R105 per day.
Minister said the National Development Plan
is at its point of departure, it recognises that medium-term plans are framed
in the context of a long-term vision and strategy.
He further said it focuses on strengthening
growth and employment creation.
Ciders, beers and wines will have an
increase of between 5 cents to 60 cents, while spirits will increase by R 3, 60
per bottle, Cigarettes will increase by 60 cents and pipe tobacco by 32 cents,
Fuel prices will see an increase of 15 cents per litre, all these increases are
expected to come into effect as from the 3rd of April 2013.
Minister added that South Africa’s economy has
continued to grow, but at a lower rate than projected at the time of 2012 budget.
The GDP growth reached 2, 5 percent in 2012 and is expected to grow at 2, 7
percent in 2013, and rise to 3,8 percent in 2015.
Gordhan further said in recent times, the
world has become more of uncertain for businesses, causing some to build cash reserves
rather than invest in new or expand operations.
“Leading up to the budget, we engage with
several business leaders on the investment and development challenges we face”
He said expenditure on the economic
services in 2013/14 will amount to R48 billion. In this funding there are
additional allocations of R 450 million over a three period for the Economic
Development Department for the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.
About R71,4 million has been set aside for
the Public Service Commission to combat corruption and address grievances.
Gordhan said, he fully supports Minister
Lindiwe Sisulu on her call to curb officials from doing business with
The Minister highlighted some of the main
tax proposals that will be tabled in the National Assembly this year. Personal
income tax relief of R 7 billion, together with adjustments to the medical tax
credit amounting to about R 350million. The employment incentive through the
tax system for first-time job seekers. The tax relief for small businesses. Government
also plans to introduce carbon tax in 2015.
National Treasury Director General Lungisa
Fuzile said the 2013 budget is about national development and fiscal
sustainability. He also said both the country’s growth and fiscals are stable
In this year’s budget there are no tax
increases also the initial phase of the National Health Insurance will not
place new revenue demands on the fiscus. However the Minister said it is
anticipated that a tax increase will be needed over a long term.