THE BUDGET: Job Creation Welcomed
Recent Western Cape Business News
IN a Budget with few stand-out features, the Cape Chamber of Commerce was pleased to note that the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, gave priority to development and job creation rather than the dependence on welfare.
And there were hints that he was prepared to stand up to those opposed to this path.
“The budget,” he said, “sets us on a path that will neither be easy nor uncontested – hard work and difficult choices lie ahead. We have embarked on the long road to economic freedom.”
Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber, said the fact that Cosatu had come out and slammed the budget was a clear indication that the road ahead would be very tough indeed and he said the Minister deserved all the support he could get from business.
He welcomed the commitment to economic freedom and the indication that it was time to stop blaming failures on the legacy Apartheid.
“The Minister is right when he talks about difficult choices. One of them is the cost of the public service where the salary bill has doubled over the last five years. Clearly, this is an unsustainable trend and one that will require a firm hand to bring under control.
“Throughout the world bureaucracies have proved to be more costly than productive and we must not lose sight of the fact that bureaucracies consume resources while it is the private sector that creates those resources.”
He could not fault the strategy of promoting investment, trade performance, science and technology, job creation and small business but everything depended on the implementation. “The intentions are all good but we still have a range of unnecessary changes in labour laws hanging over us like the sword of Damocles,” Bagraim said.
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