SACP rejects proposed budget cuts

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South African Communist Party (SACP) General-Secretary Solly Mapaila says they are totally opposed to government’s plan to implement austerity measures.

This as National Treasury instructs government departments to reduce spending following less than projected revenue collection.

The SACP says the Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s proposed spending cuts are an inappropriate response to the country’s economic problems.

Mapaila was speaking in Johannesburg yesterday at the end of the party’s three day Central Committee meeting.

“What we’re opposed to and both denounce and reject is austerity among others. Austerity involves cutting government service delivery and development expenditure, including redistributing programmes and withdrawing from advancing any real economic stimulus. The National Treasury says national departments, public entities and provinces must stop all new personnel recruitments and infrastructure development immediately. We reject this with the contempt that it deserves.  This is a don’t care attitude towards the plight of our people.”

In a statement, Mapaila further states: “Austerity should not be confused with trimming perks for senior officials or ensuring greater value for money by cutting rent-seeking or tackling corruption. Such measures should all be part of normal, prudent public finance management, which we support.”

VAT increases 

Mapaila also spoke on the matter of VAT increases, which he says the SACP strongly opposes.

“We are calling for decisive measures to tackle the rising costs of living, including the food poverty that affects millions of South Africans in urban and rural areas. A caring social development policy with a social safety net is critical to mitigate the impact of the persistent high levels of poverty and unemployment, which mostly affect black people, women and youth.”

Concern over financial crisis in SA

Meanwhile, Godongwana has since refused to entertain speculation around a possible fiscal crisis in the country.

Godongwana spoke to SABC News last month ahead of his tabling the mid-term budget policy statement, scheduled for the 1st of November.

More details in the report below: