FULL SPEECH: Pravin Gordhan's #Budget2017 speech

2017-02-22 14:27

Below is his full speech.

Sanibonani Molweni Goeie middag Thobelaa.

I have the privilege to present our Government’s budget for the fiscal year 2017/18, and the framework for the next three years.

I am mindful, in the context of our own transformation challenges and the stresses in the global environment, of Oliver Tambo’s unwavering vision.

"We seek to create a united, democratic and non-racial society. We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity...[We seek to] remake our part of the world into a corner of the globe of which all of humanity can be proud."

In the words of the Freedom Charter, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.In drafting our Constitution, this was a central foundational principle, and so the values of freedom, dignity and equality are embedded in our law and our polity.

This is also why our Constitution requires that all who live in our country should have access to housing, medical care, social security, water and education, There should be a progressive realisation of access to tertiary education and other elements in a comprehensive set of social entitlements. Wealth and economic opportunities must be equitably shared.

These commitments impose obligations on government – and have implications for the business sector and all stakeholders. We have a shared responsibility to address the social and economic challenges before us.

These South African realities are known to all of us.

  • Income growth has been uneven - the bottom 20% have benefited from social grants and better access to services, the top 20% have benefited from the rising demand for skills and pay increases. Those in the middle have been left behind.
  • Wealth remains highly concentrated – 95% of wealth is in the hands of 10% of the population.
  • 35% of the labour force are unemployed or have given up hope of finding work.
  • Despite our progress in education, over half of all children in Grade 5 cannot yet read adequately in any language.
  • More than half of all school-leavers each year enter the labour market without a senior certificate pass. 75% of these will still be unemployed five years later.
  • Our towns and cities remain divided and poverty is concentrated in townships and rural areas.
  • Our growth has been too slow – just 1% a year in real per capita terms over the past 25 years, well below that of countries such as Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, India or China.
These are our realities. They mirror the stresses of poverty and vulnerability in many developing countries, and the inequality between rich and poor throughout the world.

    Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2017 Budget Speech

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