DA urges Mboweni to restore SA to sustainable debt path ahead of mid-term budget

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to restore South Africa to a sustainable debt path and re-establish fiscal discipline when he delivers the Mid-term Budget Statement on Wednesday.

The party says he must also try to protect essential public services from deep budget cuts.

DA Finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis says if there is wasteful spending on failing state companies such as South African Airways, there will be insufficient money to spend on essential services.

“The Minister must show a credible path to debt stabilisation and in the longer term, to debt reduction. Secondly, the Minister should commit himself to a formally legislated debt ceiling, ideally by supporting the DA’s Fiscal Responsibility Bill. Third, the Minister must protect essential public services from deep budget cuts, by focusing cuts on the public wage bill and through a root-and-branch reassessment of government spending”.

Debt amid COVID-19 pandemic

Government debt is on the rise as the country tries to stimulate the economy and to cushion citizens against the effects of COVID-19 and the lockdown.

The local economy is expected to contract by at least 9% this year.

Government revenue is expected to plunge as a result of the struggling businesses and shutdowns as well as job losses.

Meanwhile, small businesses are also hoping to get clarity on initiatives meant to support them, as outlined in the video below: