Thanks, but no thanks, Mr Gordhan

2012-02-23 00:00

FOR some people, budget speeches are relevant; they affect them personally and in how they run their businesses.


Others feel they are relevant only if they are directly affected.

Yesterday’s speech left Musa E. Zulu disappointed. “Thanks but no thanks, Mr Gordhan,” he said.

“There is no reason I should celebrate the increase. When you look at the R60 [disability grant] increase, that gets finished even before I leave my house because of the exorbitant fuel levies.”

Zulu (40) is a paraplegic disability ambassador. He was paralysed when he was involved in a car accident in 1995.

He said he hardly had time for budget speeches because they lacked focus for disabled people. While he said tax cuts could bring relief to middle-income earners, they made no difference to lower-income earners because they were not taxed.

“Every time when there is a budget speech, I always hope the minister will go beyond grants when he mentions people with disabilities and target growth and empowerment programmes that provide equal opportunity in the work climate for people with disabilities,” he added.

An entrepreneur, Zulu said he did not have a specific budget that he stuck to, and spends around R3 000 on his children, with 60% of his budget going towards his household needs. He said he would consider it immoral to draw a grant.

“Even those who get them would tell you they could do with more,” he said, adding that in a good three days, he spends the same amount as the grant just on airtime for his cellphone.

“I do not receive the grant. I survive by my own means. I deal with people with disabilities who use those grants and, trust me, those grants are only good enough for airtime.

“They are not enough to cover all their holistic needs. There should be programmes that allow them to subsidise that grant…

“Grants stifle people’s growth,” ­Zulu added.

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