Slow growth mixed with high inflation is 'toxic' for SA - Radebe

Cape Town – South Africa has a toxic combination of very slow growth and high inflation, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday.

Briefing media ahead of the presentation of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Department budget vote in Parliament, he said high inflation had prompted the Monetary Policy committee to raise interest rates which would put growth recovery under pressure.

“Times are hard, but we should not lose heart.”

The minister presented an overview on poverty in the country, as well as education, health, access to basic services and department programmes.

He also detailed some of the successes of the anti-corruption task team, including the conviction of 116 people since 2009.

Radebe also said they would be finalising the ministerial handbook in a month or so.

The department is one of the few that had a budget increase in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Additional funding

The department has been allocated additional funding of R218.6m, raising its 2016/17 budget to R827.7m.

This includes a transfer payment to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) of R405.8m.

Radebe said the budget increase would be largely to create more capacity, particularly in terms of monitoring the performance of government.

Deputy Minister Buti Manamela said the integrity and credibility of the NYDA had improved.

The NYDA had its first ever clean audit in 2015.

Manamela said they had seen an improvement in the last three years, especially in spending on the salary bill, which had decreased by about R37m.

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