Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in parliament. (Picture: AFP) ~ AFP
Cape Town - There were moans and groans from MPs on Wednesday as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan went off speech, telling them they should be paying more tax.
Delivering his 2013/14 budget, Gordhan said: "The government relies on resources derived from the wider economy, and the best way to generate resources is to grow the economy faster and increase the tax base...That means all of you must pay a little more tax."
Gordhan, dressed in a blue-grey suit and pink tie, looked more comfortable reading from a tele-prompter - which he seemed to struggle with during the 2009 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, his first as Finance Minister.
The Minister's health did appear to have taken a slight knock, with him stopping his speech several times to cough, reaching for a sip of water to get him through the 32-page speech.
Gordhan started his speech seven minutes late, and during the first few paragraphs of the speech had to ask MPs to clap to "give everyone a bit of a break" at one stage.
Turning to a low carbon economy, he informed MPs of a carbon tax to be imposed on January 1st, 2015.
"I see minister (Edna) Molewa (Environmental Affairs minister) has a new car. I hope she will lend it to us...," he joked.
He was referring to four electric cars which Molewa's department would receive to use and test over the next three years.