Public debt a concern, warns union

2013-02-27 18:51 - Sapa
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Johannesburg - South Africa's increasing public debt is of serious concern, farmers' union TAU SA said on Wednesday.

"TAU SA understands the fact that [Finance Minister Pravin] Gordhan did not have much room to manoeuvre in his budget," the organisation said in a statement.

"We are, however, concerned about the increase in public debt. It would not be necessary to borrow money if government was able to curb corruption."

The government was making a habit of spending more money than it was getting.

"We should not pat ourselves on the back because our public debt will be just 38.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This figure does not include the billions of municipal debt. Government is making the country less competitive by its policies."

TAU SA said the state's inability to govern effectively and combat corruption and crime was not reflected in the budget.

"South Africa needs economic stability and cannot afford any financial experiments," it said.

"Agriculture can make a significant contribution to ensure a high degree of economic stability, as long as the sector is not utilised [as] a guinea pig for failing political goals."

* Visit our 2013 Budget section for full coverage of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's National Budget speech.

* Use our tax calculator to work out your tax relief.

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