KZN gets the lion’s share

2013-02-28 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal received the lion’s share in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2013/14 budget allocations yesterday.

Business leaders also expressed strong optimism at the move to form a single tax registration process and tax relief for small businesses, which will create a platform for emerging entrepreneurs to access markets.

The National Treasury’s Division of Revenue Bill for 2013/14, allocated the largest part of the National Revenue Fund of R88 billion in terms of equitable share and conditional grants to KwaZulu-Natal.

The Division of Revenue Bill gives the eThekwini Municipality the third-highest equitable share from the national budget at R1,8 billion. The City of Johannesburg received the most, at just over R2,2 billion while, with the Ekurhuleni District Municipality receiving the second largest slice of the budget at just over R1,9 billion.

Other KZN municipalities such as Msunduzi received R354 million. Ugu District Municipality was allocated R287 million and the Zululand District Municipality received R276 million.

Melanie Veness, the chief executive of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, said it was good news that KZN got the largest budget transfer.

In addition, it was a positive for business that there would be tax incentives to employ young people and for people employed in the Special Economic Zones. It was also a positive sign that tax requirements for small businesses would be simplified to set an increase in turnover threshold.

“What they did was remove red tape and increases the threshold for tax liability … Also it was quite a conservative budget given the economic conditions and rightly so. However, one looks forward to the details … It is difficult to comment on what the impact will be at this stage,” she said.

Veness noted that the Implementation of a Carbon Tax has been anticipated, but its impact was still unclear at this stage.

She said it was very pleasing that Gordhan recognised the need to professionalise the public service and strengthen accountability, with new systems in place to counter corruption.

“We look forward to seeing progress in these areas,” she said.

Andrew Laymen, the chief executive of the Durban Business Chamber said it was encouraging that cuts in expenditure will not affect infrastructure projects to which government was already committed.

Government allocated about R202 million for agricultural support and development in the province and R1,2 billion for education infrastructure and a further R325 million for further education and training. A further R3,2 billion was earmarked for the Human Settlements development grant in the province.

• ayanda.mdluli@witness.co.za

Business optimistic about less red tape and more tax relief for small businesses

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