Economy

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says this year’s budget has affirmed that South Africa has taken a tougher stance on its fiscal consolidation, which should go a long way in restoring confidence.

Government has set aside R16.3 billion towards higher education, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said.

Owing to the rising costs of traditional fossil fuel, the current electricity crisis and the common push towards a more environmentally conscious way of living, renewable energy has experienced considerable growth within the past few years.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says due to global and domestic economic constraints, tabling this year’s budget was very difficult.

Incentives and other economic interventions have collectively led to the creation of more than a million jobs in the past year, the National Treasury said.

Taxpayers should expect to pay a percentage point more from their personal income tax for government to raise an extra R12 billion this year and another R15 billion next year, the National Treasury said.

New research reveals that South African business leaders would welcome
more global co-operation and guidance from tax authorities on what is
acceptable and unacceptable tax planning.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordon said in his budget speech, that while we have
achieved much over the past five years, in a very difficult post recession
climate; there is more to do ahead.

The private sector and civil society should lend a helping hand to ensure that
the country records economic growth that can create jobs, says Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Government spending on health is expected to exceed R492 billion over the
next three years, as part of a plan to strengthen the health system, in
preparation for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI)
scheme.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the old age and disability grants will
increase from R1 270 to R1 350 in April and the forster care grant will be
R830, while the child support grant increases to R310 a month in April and
R320 in Octtober.

If you have been planning to quit smoking, this is probably the best time to do
that. Smokers will from now on pay roughly 68 cents more for a packet of
cigarettes.

The education sector is set to receive the biggest portion of the budget
demonstrating government's continued commitment to addressing one of the
country's major problem areas.

Tabling the 2014 Budget in Parliament, Minister Gordhan announced that
government?s spending will be R1.25-trillion for the 2014/15 financial year.
Here is an outline of government's expenditure plan for this period.

Despite the sluggish local economic growth brought about by the 2008 global
recession, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said government would continue
focus its efforts on growing the economy.

This year?s National Budget is unlikely to contain any dramatic surprises and
probably won?t include any changes to VAT or Capital Gains Tax rates.
Significant changes seem to be limited to non-election years, according to
Eugene du Plessis, head of tax at Grant Thornton.

The general expectation is that tax rates will be lowered, but only enough to
cater for inflation increases to remuneration, or "bracket creep? as it is called,
according to tax expert, Rob Cooper.

South Africa is lacking key drivers to stimulate economic growth and is ranked
52nd, out of 60 economies in the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index (GDI)
2013.

Continued concern being expressed globally on the stability of the Chinese economy is
also being felt in South Africa, with the local trade industry treading cautiously in
anticipation of a positive outcome.

Ursula Maritz, Chief Investment Officer at Southern Charter shares her insights on the
economic activity in South Africa and talks about how investor confidence will impact
the country.

The African continent’s economy is projected to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and 5.3%
in 2014; but that could improve if countries enhance the management of their mineral
resources.

With the aim of aligning efforts that promote economic development, the social
accord was established. KwaZulu-Natal, has been recorded as the first province in
South Africa to sign the accord.

SA will look to showcase itself as an investment destination during its hosting of the 23rd World Economic Forum. It presents an opportunity to showcase the country as a strategic development partner in the region and a strategic entry point for investors interested in investing in the region.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, is looking at ways to boost South Africa?s manufactured exports to its Brics partner countries, and is coordinating a joint research study on how to boost value-added trade amongst the bloc?s member countries

The South African Reserve Bank has said that the rising inflation rate was a challenge for the central bank. The inflation targeting monetary policy framework would be difficult to implement without the timely and accurate measurement of the Consumer Price Index.

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