Cape Town - With the National
Budget Speech by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan
looming, Fin24 users are
urging him to rein in wasteful government costs.
Gordhan is expected to make his
budget speech on February 27 and a steady stream of Fin24 users have voiced
the most urgent issues they want the minister to deal with.
While policy wonks and economists
expect the speech to touch on issues such as mining taxes, the national health
insurance system and the national development plan, some Fin24 users are
expecting tighter control of government spending.
Charles Brunyee wrote in to Fin24
noting that he had read statistics showing that South Africa has one of the
most expensive governments in the world.
"In a developing country
like ours it is obvious that the cost of government must be kept to a minimum
so tax revenue can be allocated to more productive areas such as
infra-structure and education.
"Please can you send this
message loud and clear to the ANC government and let it be seen by the tax
payer that government excesses are being curbed," he said.
In 2009 when President Jacob Zuma
unveiled his first cabinet he made sweeping changes announcing a team
comprising of 34 ministers that marked a break from the smaller 28 member
cabinet in the Mbeki era.
At the time Zuma said the new
cabinet was designed "to achieve visible and tangible socio-economic
development" but critics dismissed the expansion as a waste of taxpayers'
Users Mark Osborn and A Shaw
called on the minister to act tough on extravagant government spending with
tighter control on funds given to government departments and bringing
fraudsters to book quickly.
Another user, Yashmita Singh,
urged for transparency asking for "evidence of government officials being
Jan Buurman pointed out that
there was great potential for "huge savings" within local government
departments. Buurman advised Gordhan to "link all municipalities' finances
to a central oversight room. He said that this will make provision for mistakes
and shortfalls to be picked up much sooner than 6 months after year-end.
However, user Ian Shortreed
called for an overhaul at local, provincial and national levels. Gordhan must
to do "everything possible to completely eliminate all the abuse of public
funds at all levels of the government", he emphasised.
"Using the available
upgraded resources of the National Treasury, he needs to ensure that the purse
strings are so tightly controlled that the optimum level of service delivery is
ensured, achieved and maintained by each and every department."
Shortreed deplored spending on
"over-the-top functions, overseas travel, self-indulgence practices,
luxury motor vehicles, state housing privileges and other similar
South Africa has a sound base of
annual fiscal income, wrote Shortreed but he highlighted that it was the manner
in which taxpayers' cash was being used that was at the root of the country's
Shamane Ramlall called on Gordhan
to "tighten the purse strings with all the parliamentarians; and the
country will have lots more money to use on the good people of this country".
"Our leadership is using,
abusing and squandering public funds everyday and nothing is done about
Ramlall also challenged
government leaders. "If the president and his ministers are TRUE PATRIOTS
of SA, they will gladly let go of their luxuries/perks and ensure that the poor
people of this country are taken care of decently."
George van der Merwe wrote that
what Gordhan needs to do is rein in state waste and expenditure because
taxpayers were already overburdened, but he was doubtful that the minister
would take heed.
"Will he listen? Somehow I
doubt it," noted Van der Merwe.
He further added that the
government must ensure proper compliance and accountable expenditure.
"South Africans deserve an
accountable, fiscally responsible government that spends the money it collects
wisely as opposed to just hitting the taxpayer every time it has a shortfall,"
wrote Van der Merwe.
Some Fin24 users also expressed a
willingness to pay more taxes provided that state budgets were properly
"I do not mind paying tax as
it is necessary for our country to grow and prosper, but it is seriously
concerning that our state departments under spend on their budgets," wrote
"We must reach our targets
if we want to eradicate poverty in this country", he said while terming as
"unacceptable" state enterprises not adding value to the economy and
instead contributes to the downwards trend of the GDP.
Concurring with Andries, Peter
Hutchison stated: "Taxpayers will not mind paying taxes, even increased
taxes if they can be seen to being used for correct purposes and not being
embezzled or otherwise misdirected."
Have your say - send us your budget tips and we'll make sure Gordhan receives them.
* Visit our 2013
Budget section for full coverage of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's
National Budget speech.
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