Positive reaction to Gordhan's budget

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cape Town - Business and labour have widely welcomed Finance Minister's Pravin Gordhan's Budget Speech and described it as "progressive" in terms of what needs to be done to address the aftermath of recession.

"In terms of the vision of the country I think the minister has articulated very well. We welcome the talk of the new industrial strategy and the statements acknowledging the poverty of our people," said Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi after the speech on Wednesday.

Gordhan tabled his maiden budget in which he announced increased spending in education, health, infrastructure development and a R60 billion tax windfall. The budget was the first to be shaped by the government's new outcomes targets.

Vavi said the trade union federation was happy to hear about the flexibility in the mandate of the Reserve Bank. "We hope that we can engage the Reserve Bank on how to practically address the issues of monetary policy without further disadvantaging the poor," he said.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, whose department received an additional R2.7 billion for the roll-out of workbooks in all 11 official languages to help raise numeracy levels in Grades 3, 6 and 9 also welcomed his department's allocation.

"We welcome especially the money that has been allocated to FET (Further Education and Training) colleges to deal with the matter of salaries of college lecturers. We think it will go a long in addressing the challenges we have there," said Nzimande.

The Budget Speech was also well received by Business Unity SA. "I think we must be confident that with the approach that has been taken on spending and we will be able to see some stimulation in the economy considering that we are still recovering from the recession," said BUSA deputy CEO Raymond Preston..