Political parties in Parliament have expressed mixed views on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech. Many are not happy with the one percent VAT increase.

Among those who voiced their unhappiness with the increase of VAT from 14 to 15 percent are the Democratic Alliance’s Alf Lees, Congress of the People Leader Mosioua Lekota, United Democratic Movement Chief Whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa and Pan Africanist Congress leader Luthando Mbinda.

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Lulama Ntshayisa from the African Independent Congress and the African Christian Democratic Party’s Steve Swart were optimistic on other areas including health, small businesses and social services.

National Freedom Party Chief Whip Nhlanhla Khubisa and the Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald had their different concerns on the issue of free higher education.

However the Deputy Minister Sifiso Buthelezi says theirs was only to make an allocation on free higher education. Treasurer-General of the ANC Paul Mashatile says the budget speaks to all issues that the State of the Nation Address alluded to.

The secretary general of the South African Federation of Trade Unions, Zwelinzima Vavi, on Wednesday, described Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget as an attack on the country’s poor.

“This is an onslaught on the workers now taken into the second gear,” Vavi said.

“We are absolutely very angry at the one percent increase in VAT. It is very regressive which punishes and hurts the poor more than anybody else.” – Additional reporting by ANA

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