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Parties react to Budget Policy Statement

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Government needs to take bold decisions and implement tougher measures to get the economy to recover, the DA said on Wednesday.

“It is a difficult time for South Africa, that is why we need bold and strong leadership. Globally, other markets are starting to recover,” Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said outside Parliament.

He was reacting to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s 2014 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement delivered in Parliament.

“Other African countries are growing at a higher rate than us… and this tells you there is something wrong that we are doing, not simply an economic climate that we are in.”

Nene announced measures to check South Africa’s worsening debt outlook, warning the country had reached an economic turning point.

Nene said measures would include capping government spending and raising tax revenues.

Maimane said Nene should have announced tougher interventions to hold those who wasted public funds accountable.

“How do we get back money wasted in Nkandla? There are many interventions that minister Nene simply glossed over while taxpayer’s money is wasted and not fulfilling objectives it is meant to achieve,” said Maimane.

‘Nene got it right’

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene got the balance between the needs of the poor and state expenditure right, the African National Congress said on Wednesday.

“I think that balance has been very, very important,” party treasurer Zweli Mkhize said outside Parliament.

“Having looked at what the minister could have done, I think they have been able to give a very frank picture of the difficult economic situation for South Africans, and that’s what we need.”

South Africans needed a finance minister who took was honest about the difficult current economic situation.

“Having said so, also to acknowledge that there is a large global economic crisis, that also our own issues, that we need to sort out internally as a country,” Mkhize said.

“I think that the focus on saying that government personal expenditure at different levels needs to be contained. I think that’s a good one and also a culture of fiscal discipline has to be part of what he must preach.” SAPA

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