Godongwana's request for a one-week delay for medium-term budget approved

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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana Picture: Gallo Images
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana Picture: Gallo Images
Simphiwe Nkwali

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana's medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) will be pushed back by a week to 11 November.

This comes after Business Day reported that the date for Godongwana's joint sitting debut would be changed from Thursday 4 November.

The change in date comes as a number of economic developments fall on the table of government and, more especially, National Treasury.

Since being appointed as finance minister by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September, Godongwana has spoken at a handful of public events and sent signals of that he looks to lead National Treasury with a business-friendly and pro-growth approach.

Mothapo tweeted on Tuesday morning that Godongwana wrote to the National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula requesting that the date for tabling the medium-term budget be changed.

National Treasury released a statement shortly after Mothapo's tweet saying Godongwana will table the medium-term budget policy statement on 11 November 2021, and not 4 November.

"The postponement is due to the local government elections which were promulgated for Monday, 01 November 2021. All processes leading up to the finalisation of the MTBPS remain on track," the Treasury statement said.

This approved request for a change in the date of the joint sitting comes as government is considering how Eskom will be supported in the immediate and medium future and how it can leverage its presence at the Congress of Parties climate change meeting in Glasgow Scotland, to get funding.

Another issue that might be giving Godongwana and National Treasury pause for further reflection is considerations for the Basic Income Grant, which seeks to expand the reach of social supports for poor South Africans to include those between the ages of 18 and 59.

That said, the medium-term budget policy statement serves to outline and update the legislature on fiscal developments encompassing a three year period, and is likely to be consistent with former minister Tito Mboweni's last budget speech as well as his last medium-term budget policy statement.

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