JOHANNESBURG, October 24 – The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on Monday urged finance minister Malusi Gigaba to issue a Policy statement that will restore confidence to the business environment and the market in general.
Gigaba will deliver his inaugural Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday, setting out the fiscal policy objectives and government spending priorities over the three-year expenditure cycle.
Gigaba has an unenviable task of closing government debt, consolidating fiscal policy, ensuring adherence of austerity measures while bankrolling critical government programmes like higher education, social welfare, and broke state-owned enterprises (SOEs), all amid bleak economic growth forecasts.
SACCI said it was important that Gigaba deals decisively and clearly with the government’s plans in the area of fiscal discipline, given the constraints caused by the imbalance in the declining revenue base vis a vi the expenditure in the areas of social development and capital investment.
The Chamber also said Gigaba must deal with government’s plans on the funding gap and managing the deficit, ratings agencies down-grades, progress on capital investment programmes in infrastructure, bail-outs required for some state-owned enterprises, and progress with implementing the National Development plan.