BUDGET SPEECH 2012 by Minister of
Finance Mr Pravin Gordhan.
Minister of Finance
Pravin Gordhan will be in the spotlight as he delivers the government’s 2012
Budget Speech in Parliament on Wednesday 22 February.
There is obviously much
interest in this year’s Budget Speech, especially after the promises of
infrastructure development, job creation and service delivery made by President
Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address a few weeks ago.
Financial experts all agree
that this Budget Speech will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging in
years, with the Minister trying to balance the competing issues of fiscal constraints
and high socio-political expectations, while maintaining fiscal discipline in a
climate of global economic decline.
Many of us are anxiously
waiting to see how the Minister is going to pull of this fine balancing act. Where
is he going to get the R300 billion needed to fund the infrastructure building
programme over the next seven years.
I’m sure all of us are
secretly hoping that he won’t increase our taxes to raise these funds.
And this brings me to the
point of this article. And let me declare upfront that I am no financial expert.
As a citizen of our
country I firmly believe that South Africa has the financial capacity to
achieve much more than we are currently doing without raising taxes and acquiring
expensive loans to fund the required programmes necessary to put our country
firmly on the path to fulfilling the Promise of Freedom, a Better Life for All.
All the problems
afflicting our country today are not because of a lack of finances. Our
government, the stewards of our democracy, have at their disposal enough
finances to drastically improve the situation within which our country finds ourselves.
Government, as stewards
of our democracy, and therefore stewards of the wellbeing of our nation, should
be seen to be fulfilling the role that they have been voted into. Being voted
into a position of trust, such as government, is a very high, noble and responsible
honour. It is a position that should be accepted with humility and the
commitment to live up to the expectation of the citizens who put the stewards
in such a high position of trust.
However, we can only
despair at the avalanche of mismanagement, corruption, and sheer looting of
state coffers (our money) that happens in our country, with impunity. Not to
speak about the very poor levels of service delivery in many areas of our
country. To such an extent that it has become the norm, especially to the
poorest people in our country.
All this in spite of
governments frequent attempts to make us believe that they are fighting
corruption and mismanagement, especially in the public sector.
Many of our “leaders” in
the liberation movement frequently refer to the National Democratic Revolution.
And they romanticize the
Revolution with idealistic slogans of socialism and communism. Ideologies of
foreign failed states.
We don’t need socialism
and communism to deliver on the Promise of Freedom in our country.
All we need is to apply the
Ubuntu Principles and Batho Pele. These are concepts that have been practiced
in our country and our communities for ages. And this practice should start right
at the top, with the elected representatives of our people, the stewards of our
democracy, our government.
What South Africa needs
most is a caring government. A Government that really puts the needs and the
interests of its citizens first. Government Ministers and public servants that
won’t succumb to the luxuries allowed by the ministerial handbook, but Government
Ministers and public servants who will be guided by the conscience of being
committed to the Promise of Freedom, A Better Life for All.
I therefore insist
Minister Pravin Gordhan, that as you deliver your Budget Speech 2012 on
Wednesday 22 February, you do not have to raise our taxes or borrow expensive
money to implement the programmes that will deliver on the Promise of Freedom,
A Better Life For All.
The necessary finances
are right here in our country. We just need to manage our available finances effectively,
with the utmost respect and care for the people who have entrusted you with the
government of our country.
All we need in our beloved
country is a government and public sector that is committed to our own Ubuntu
Principles and Batho Pele, People First.