Budget 2014 - as it happened

2014-02-26 13:01

16:59 - And that's it for updates. Stay with Fin24 though. We'll keep the Budget 2014 coverage going. Cheers!


16:56 - There's so much information to wade through in the budget speech. If you don't have the time or energy to go through it all, check out our budget in 90 seconds video (OK, fair enough, it's a little over 90 seconds. But that's a nice round number).


16:53 - Identifying the need for investment is positive. Doing nothing about saving will exacerbate macroeconomic mismatch (deficits), says Chris Hart


16:51 - Tim Harris has released a statement about his take on the budget (yes, there's a picture. Of Tim.). Read it here.


16:49 - Despite the setbacks such as a commodity price collapse and unprecedented market turmoil, SA's economy has proved resilient, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.


16:45 - The speech in Setswana, Zulu and Xhosa.


16:43 - For non-English readers, we're going to give you some links to the speech in the other official languages. First up, Afrikaans.


16:36 - More from the DA's Tim Harris: Gordhan tabled a budget that provides no real tax concessions & few reforms to get growth or tackle unemployment. Blame doesn't necessarily lie with [Gordhan]. Zuma will not back reforms because of the tripartite alliance.

Gordhan reflected favourably on progress made since 1994 - something all South Africans acknowledge.

It is this poor leadership that has left our economy stuck while our competitors have bounced back strongly.


16:31 - The delays in bringing the new Medupi power plant on line may have hampered South Africa's economic growth, Gordhan has conceded.

"It is very clear that electricity has been a constraint on growth," Gordhan said.

"The delays at Medupi are unfortunate... really they're regrettable because if we had those supplies earlier the economy might have grown a little bit better and might have created a bit more certainty in our environment.

"But... there is not much we can do about that," he added.


16:27 - Government plans to increase spending on the country's rail infrastructure by 20% a year, according to the 2014 budget.


16:18Incentives for industrial development will receive the bulk of the trade and industry department's R9.8bn budget in 2014/15.


16:13 - Great budget speech. Many of the right sentiments expressed. Not really backed by action in the budget detail, says Chris Hart.


16:09 - Calculate how much you'll save on tax after the relief announced in the budget.


16:01 - Watch our live panel discussion about the budget. 


16:00 - How will the sin tax hikes affect you? Calculate here


15:58 - Former finance minister Trevor Manuel on #budget2014 - "no comment, not my show."


15:51 - Government is shifting the responsibility of providing low-income housing to certain municipalities, according to the 2014/15 budget tabled in Parliament.


15:46 - Tim Harris tweeted earlier: No surprises in the 2014 Budget, but a holding pattern is not good enough. Not enough here to drive growth or help create millions of jobs.


15:45Traditional African beer managed to dodge the sin tax hikes.


15:37 -  The ACDP's Steve Swart says Gordhan had little room to manoeuvre but presented a balanced budget.


15:36 - Earlier Gordhan said: In the present circumstances, either we hang together or we hang separately. That is the question before SA.


15:35 - The rand weakened by 5c in the time Gordhan spoke. Now at R10.76 to the US dollar.


15:32 - Gordhan leaves the podium to great applause. Speech over. Now for the reaction. Where's Tim Harris? 


15:32 - Gordhan closes with words of Yusuf Dadoo, 'another great South African leader and unifier'.


15:31 - This budget provides the resources to move SA forward. This. Is. A. Good. Story. To. Tell, Gordhan insists. (Yes, it was very pointed. He literally pointed)


15:29 -  It's true. Mbaks is chewing that gum as if it will make the time go more quickly. Maybe it keeps him awake, tweets Carien Du Plessis


15:27 - Gordhan thanks family. Voice is breaking a bit.


15:25 - Gordhan thanks Gill Marcus and other colleagues in finance departments.


15:24 - Thank you for your leadership, Gordhan tells Zuma. 


15:21 - Gordhan: More people than ever have access to housing, education and services. There are still fault-lines that run deep in the social fabric of our communities and tendencies in the political landscape


15:21 - Gordhan: "More must be done to improve management and accountability at all levels of government."


15:19 - Structure of economy needs to change, says Gordhan. 


15:19 - Gordhan has urged South Africans to work together to radically change the economy.


15:18 - Gordhan: We intend to move progressively towards a mandatory system of retirement for all employed workers


15:16 - Gordhan: Legislation has already been passed by Parliament to improve governance over pension and provident funds


15:16 - If you are not paying taxes in SA then you should not be doing business with government, says  Gordhan.


15:12 - More must be done to improve management and accountability at all levels of government says Pravin Gordhan.
The labour relations environment needs to be more stable, says Gordhan.
The high indebtedness of many vulnerable workers must be addressed, says Gordhan.
The youth of today, like their parents, can see the fault-lines that still divide our society, says Gordhan. They can see the gap between the rich and the poor.


15:04 - 


15:01 - New top-up retail savings bond to be introduced by government.


15:00 - MPs are cheering (or possibly jeering) news that whisky and cigarette prices are going up. 


14:54 - The health department will get R145.7bn in the 2014/15 budget.


14:53 - The minister has pressed many of right buttons such as lower tax compliance costs & regulatory relief. Will this be meaningful, asks Chris Hart .


14:53 - The department of environmental affairs has agreed to a package of measures needed to address climate change and reduce emissions.
During 2014 work will be undertaken on the impact of the tax system on economic growth and job creation and aspects like VAT, mining taxes and estate duties.


14:46 - Economist Chris Hart says: The budget speech is largely good. Growth and jobs is certainly a strong intention. Not much on the essential core: savings!


14:45 - Weakening rand and increasing inflation have reinforced the need to moderate public expenditure, lower the budget deficit and ensure that public sector debt stabilises relative to GDP, says Pravin Gordhan.


14:44 -  South Africa is the second largest developing country investor in Africa.
Foreign assets owned by South African firms are a important source of income and reduces SA’s vulnerability to future domestic downturns, says Pravin Gordhan.
Government are implementing further steps to simplify trade and investment with Africa. This includes the HoldCo regime for African and offshore operations that will be extended to unlisted companies.
A new “Foreign Member Funds” is being proposed by Gordhan to simplify the foreign exposure rules.


14:42 - PROUD moment, our ANC GOVERNMENT is sharing our country's wealth among its people, tweets the ANC Youth League. One could argue that that's what government's are supposed to do... 


14:41 - Gordhan: Global growth gathered momentum in 2013, led by a recovery in advanced economies. This recovery is expected to continue into 2014


14:40 - The global economy, with which SA is connected, is not yet on a path of sustained recovery, Gordhan points out.
Growth in Europe, which is a major trading partner of SA, remains subdued.
The African continent is expected to grow by about 6% per year over the next two years.


14:39 - The tax burden on micro-enterprises will be further reduced.
Replacing the graduated tax structure for small business corporations with a refundable tax compliance credit is being considered, says Pravin Gordhan.
Amendments will be made to the venture capital company tax regime.
The rules relating to access to foreign capital will be eased to enhance support for entrepreneurial development, says Pravin Gordhan.
Amendments will be made to intellectual property rules.


14:38 - The government wants to create one million jobs in the agriculture and land reform sector by 2030.
Over R7bn will be spent on contditional grants to provinces to support about 435 000 subsistence and 54 000 small holder farmers and to improve extension services.
To boost domestic food production and reduce reliance on imports, the Festa Tlala intitiative aims to bring an additional one million hectares into cultivation by 2019 and create 300 000 jobs.
The R1.6bn per year comprehensive agriculture support programme grant aims to increase farm output, especially for the beneficiaries of land reform.


14:35 - People going on pension will in future be able to take R500 000 of their pension money as lump without paying any tax on it. The amount was previously R315 000.


14:35 - Public infrastructure investment will be R847bn over the next three years.
Public infrastructure spending will include the expected completion of Medupi by the end of this year –Pravin Gordhan.
Other public spending projects include increasing Transnet’s capacity on its coal line and continuing to restock Metrorail.
Spending on social infrastructure (including health, education and community facilities) will increase to R43bn in 2016/17.


14:33 - Social grants are meant for those who need them most, cautioned Pravin Gordhan, since the number of people eligible for grants is due to reach 16.5 million bhy 2016/17.
The recent re-registration of grant recipients and the introduction of a new payments system have removed one million invalid social grant beneficiaries from the system.


14:32 - We need to wake each other up a little bit, Gordhan tells MPs after their clapping.


14:31 - Blade sits in front and nods when Gordhan speaks about education funding. Blade looks like the guy who got all the hot dogs, says reporter Carien du Plessis .


14:30 - NSFAS gets R19.4 bn over the next 3 years to assist more than 500 000 student.


14:28 - Capital spending is the fastest growing component of expenditure. It will exceed inflation by more than 4% a year


14:27 - Eliminating wasteful spending and corruption is a focus of the 2014 Budget, says Gordhan.


14:27 - Reforms to tax treatment of risk business for long-term insurers proposed. Profits wil be taxed similar to short-term insurers.


14:26 - Has Tim Harris been spotted? 


14:25 - Gordhan: Spending on infrastructure amount R1 trillion over past five years and will be R847bn over the next three years


14:24 - Gordhan: In first month, youth employment tax incentive (youth wage subsidy) has 56 000 beneficiaries.


14:22 - Job creation a central part of the National Development Plan- Gordhan. R100bn spent on employment programmes over the past five years.


14:21 - Gordhan: We have spent R115bn on higher education over the past five years.


14:20 - Gordhan says there has been a proposal to extend unemployment benefits .


14:19 - Gordhan: 6 million job opportunities will be created over the next five years


14:18 - Gordhan: In our present circumstances, we have to live and spend modestly.


14:18 - National government departments get about 48% of available funds, provinces 43% and municipalities 9%.
Capital spending is the fastest-growing component of expenditure.
R9.3 billion in income tax relief to households.
The number of children receiving child support grants will increase to 11.4 million.
Increased support for entrepreneurs and small businesses are proposed by Gordhan.
Nearly 500 000 small farmers will receive financial support and training.


14:16  - Consumers still trying to enjoy a few small pleasures in life would have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets once again. Yes, alcohol and smoking is going to cost you quite a bit more. 


14:15 - Gordhan proposes Income tax relief of R9.25bn - mainly concentrated to South Africans earning below R250 000 per year.


14:14 -  Carbon tax implementation postponed to 2016


14:12 - Gordhan: We will build 216 000 houses and connect 905 000 households to electricity


14:08 -  Numsa hands over memorandum of demands


14:08 - It is time for a bold vision of our future as set out in the National Development Plan. More rapid growth, jobs and development is needed.
The economic climate was influenced by uncertainty in financial markets, currency volatility and capital outflows from emerging markets.
Economic growth of 2.7% is expected for 2014.


14:07 -  The new economic order the South African government seeks cannot just be a pact amongst elite or a coalition amongst stakeholders with vested interests ; nor can it be built on populist slogans or unrealistic promises. Realism and evidence is needed, warns Pravin Gordhan.


14:06 - Gordhan pleads for labour, business and stakeholders to do more together to lead the economy in a new bold direction for higher growth and greater equality.


14:05 - If you're not already, this might encourage you to leave your car at home: The petrol price will increase by 20c on 2 April. 12c due to fuel levy increase & 8c for road accident fund levy.


14:04 -  And here we have it, your budget in a nutshell


14:02 -  South Africans, let me be frank with you - Gordhan.


14:01 Gordhan starts speaking. Greetings to all present.


14:00 - MPs have taken their seats. Gordhan is set to start. 


13:59 - The rand was quoted at 10.7255 to the US dollar about five minutes before Gordhan was due to start speaking.


13:57 - Gordhan has just entered the National Assembly. Meanwhile, Numsa and civil society activists are protesting outside Parliament. 


13:51 - 


13:42 -  In the face of rising interest rates and inflation, and the emphasis of savings in the October's mini budget, the National Budget will put savings firmly on the 2014 financial agenda, said Old Mutual's Craig Aitchison.

He said the emphasis Gordhan placed on the country’s low savings rate in the mini budget in October was an indication that the budget is expected to bring clarity to how the government intends to improve these levels.

Aitchison said he expected the budget to address the government’s commitment to accelerated retirement reform, as well as its progress on 2013 retirement proposals such as the auto-enrolment initiative.


13:29 -  SA Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus has just arrived at the National Assembly.


13:17 - Channel24 reckons these are the top five reasons to watch this year's speech. Here's a hint: Tim Harris features.


13:13 - On Tuesday we got the Democratic Alliance's finance spokesperson into studio. Harris has trended for the last few days on Twitter because... women seem to quite like his brand of finance. Watch the interview here:



13:06 - The rand has swung between gains and losses near the strongest level in six weeks before Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s fifth budget speech. Now trading at R10.71/$, R14.72/ € and R17.87/ £. 


13:01 - Members of Numsa have already started protesting outside Parliament: 



12:59 -  A group of civil society organisations, under the banner of the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Project (BEMP) has launched its own “peoples’ budget speech” calling for a more equitable distribution of the country’s wealth.



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