The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, to table a budget that will put the country in a position to weather the tough economic conditions it will face due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Mboweni will be delivering a supplementary budget on Wednesday in response to COVID-19.

Speaking during a virtual media conference, DA Finance Spokesperson, Geordhin Hill-Lewis, says the lockdown has placed individuals, businesses, and the government in vulnerable positions.

“We need a ‘resilience budget’. In this dire context, a resilience budget must acknowledge that neither austerity (sharp cuts to basic services) nor a big expansion in spending is possible now. The only available option is a very careful deployment of debt to fund the crisis response while ensuring economic reform can spur growth, and showing a clear path to debt stability.”

He says the “resilience budget” needs to be underpinned by honesty and humility.

“There are no easy solutions to South Africa’s economic crisis. What we face is now so dangerous, and so complex, that it will take time to resolve, if at all.”

Hill-Lewis says to deal with the challenges that South Africa is facing including poverty, the economy has to grow.

“There is only one pathway out of poverty and toward prosperity. Economic growth that exceeds population growth, over a sustained period of time, is the only sure way to lift people out of poverty and to create a more prosperous society. Achieving economic growth will require wide-ranging economic reform and an unshakeable commitment to restoring fiscal discipline.”

In the document below, the DA outlines its budget expectations: