Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister during his 2013 Budget Speech. Photo: REUTERS ~
Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on
Wednesday that South Africans were pleased with the budget and he was happy
that government had taken many of the right decisions.
"Confidence will be transferred into better growth
prospects," Gordhan said.
He said the economic period "for all of us" was a
tough one. "We are now trying to recover. The challenge for us is how to
do much better and grow."
Gordhan said R16bn was lost in revenue in the past financial
year and this was not good.
"We ask everyone who owes us taxes to pay us."
In the next two years, Gordhan said what mattered was how
the country created opportunities and jobs.
He described the decision not to increase taxes this year as
a "generous gesture of government".
Gordhan explained that South Africa can get onto the right
track if everyone played their role.
"Each of us has a role to play... Human beings most of
the time, point the finger at someone else... If we all don't pull together we won’t
meet the challenges."
The briefing heard that retirement reforms were aimed at
encouraging South Africans to save when they leave employment.
The current system did not serve citizens well, a member of
Gordhan's panel told the briefing.
He also said he was feeling well despite a continuous cough
during his 2013 Budget speech in Parliament.
"I am feeling great," he told a televised New Age
business breakfast on Thursday morning.