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TLU SA is pleased to see some positive signals from the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, during his Budget Speech, despite the small leeway he had for manoeuvring.
 
He confirmed that the increase in government wages, corruption and wasteful expenditure of state funds is a priority that must be brought under control to get to the point where the government can hire adequately skilled employees.
 
“We are delighted the minister showed he is serious about getting the expenses column and the income column in balance,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the president of TLU SA. “But, the proof will be in the pudding.
 
“We should look at his announcements in context. South Africa is still caught up in uncertain policies which cannot guarantee economic growth. Issues like expropriation without compensation and the push for transformation at the cost of hiring skilled employees, are glaring examples.”
 
The focus on the development of infrastructure with an allocation of R10 billion over three years is a step in the right direction. It is good to see that the government committed to ensuring a stable electricity supply by restructuring the sector. Strict conditions should, however, be linked to further financial support.
 
“Those conditions must ensure the tax payer’s money doesn’t land in a bottomless pit – as is the case with SAA and other state-owned entities,” says Mr Meintjes. “Despite SAA being under business administration, the goal is still to restructure the airline radically. The skill and effectiveness that must bring this change about do not currently exist in SAA. This could be what stops Mr Mboweni from getting his win.”
 
The 25 cents per litre increase in the fuel levy is always a blow to TLU SA members – the agricultural industry. It will also have a significant impact on the economy.
 
“TLU SA is satisfied with the allocation of R495million to improve compliance with biosecurity and support exports, specifically in light of the catastrophic consequences of foot and mouth diseases outbreaks,” says Mr Meintjes. “But we are apprehensive about the R500million allocated to complete land claims. It is clear that the government is not considering to apply expropriation with compensation.
 
“This is a big red light will shine even more uncertainty and negativity on investors trust.”
 
In light of the high amounts for and emphasis on education, TLU SA wants to call on the government to take strict action against students who damage infrastructure through violent protests. Guilty parties should lose their privilege to study, forthwith.
 
Police should take firm action against any person, but specifically labour unions, who try to get their way by looting.