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Govt allocates R19.8bn to support business incentives
Published: 20 Feb 19
Government has made a three-year allocation of R19.8-billion to support industrial business incentives, 48% of which goes to manufacturing development, the National Treasury announced on Wednesday. The medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) allocation includes a reprioritised amount of R600-million for the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme, which aims to reposition South Africa to compete against other low-cost producing countries.
R567bn allocated for social grants to mitigate poverty, inequality
Published: 20 Feb 19
In the fight against poverty and inequality, government has allocated R567-billion for social grant payments. In 2019, grants for old age, disability, war veterans and care dependency grants will increase by R80.
Govt encourages early retirement for up to 30 000 public servants
Published: 20 Feb 19
Given an “unsustainable” wage bill, the National Treasury has shifted expenditure to investment, meaning that national and provincial compensation budgets will be reduced by R27-billion over the next three years. According to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who delivered his maiden Budget speech on Wednesday, the first step to reducing the bill is to allow older public servants to retire early.
Govt revises contingency reserve to support cash-strapped SoEs Govt revises contingency reserve to support cash-strapped SoEs
Published: 20 Feb 19
With State-owned entities (SOEs) posing very serious risks to the fiscal framework, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday said that National Treasury was “taking very serious steps to fix the fiscal position and SoEs”. With funding requests from South African Airways (SAA), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Denel, Eskom and other financially-challenged SoEs having increased, Mboweni said that government had revised the contingency reserve upwards to R13-billion for 2019/20 to respond to possible requests for financial support. This excludes any requests from power utility Eskom, which is in severe financial distress.
Another fuel levy increase lies ahead, carbon tax to be implemented
Published: 20 Feb 19
A carbon tax on fuel of 9c/l on petrol and 10c/l on diesel will become effective from June 5, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday. Further, the general fuel levy will increase by 15c/l for petrol and diesel from April 3, while the Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy will be increased by 5c/l, also from April 3.
R100bn to be injected into infrastructure fund over ten years R100bn to be injected into infrastructure fund over ten years
Published: 20 Feb 19
National Treasury will be reprioritising resources towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s infrastructure fund and away from the wage bill, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday, with government committing R100-billion over the next decade towards the building and operation of key infrastructure assets. In several instances, the private sector will be responsible for the design, build and operation.
‘No quick fixes’, Mboweni warns as Eskom bail-out widens deficit ‘No quick fixes’, Mboweni warns as Eskom bail-out widens deficit
Published: 20 Feb 19
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni used his inaugural Budget address on Wednesday to outline the “tough steps” required to fix South Africa’s deteriorating fiscal position and the country’s failing State-owned enterprises (SoEs). He told lawmakers there were “no quick fixes”, while confirming a R23-billion-a-year bail-out for Eskom over three years, which had been made conditional on the unbundling of the power unity into three separate SoEs. The unbundling plan is currently being opposed by several trade unions, which see it as a precursor to privatisation.
R69bn in support for Eskom made conditional on restructuring R69bn in support for Eskom made conditional on restructuring
Published: 20 Feb 19
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has turned down a proposal for R100-billion of Eskom’s debt to be transferred across to the National Treasury, but has instead announced R23-billion a year in financial assistance for the debt-laden utility that is directly tied to a restructuring of the business. Over a three-year period the assistance would amount to R69-billion, which Mboweni stressed was designed to help Eskom with its reconfiguration and pay off debt and “not to pay salaries”.
Sibanye-Stillwater raises 2018 expected loss to R2.5bn
Published: 20 Feb 19
Sibanye-Stillwater said on Wednesday it expects its full-year attributable loss to be over $100-million larger than the guidance given in a trading statement last week, following a review of tax changes in the US. The gold and platinum miner's shares fell into negative territory on the news that it expects the loss to reach R2.5-billion rather than the R1-billion previously guided because of the tax changes.
Wet commissioning of Endeavour's Ity CIL project gets under way
Published: 20 Feb 19
Wet commissioning has started at Endeavour Mining's Ity carbon-in-leach (CIL) project, in Côte d'Ivoire. The company on Wednesday reported that construction was progressing within budget.
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