Mini budget claims progress with confidence boosting measures

2017-10-25 14:58 - Jaco Leuvennink

Cape Town - The medium-term budget listed some progress in the government's short-term confidence boosting measures announce in June by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

On the restoration of the sustainability of fiscal policy:

  • The Budget Facility on Infrastructure run by the National Treasury and the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission received 59 project submissions, with an aggregate funding requirement of R135bn. Several projects have been recommended for detailed appraisal;
  • Negotiations on the next public service wage agreement are under way;
  • Transformation and competitive outcomes will be promoted by implementing sector reforms;
  • The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act Regulations took effect on April 1 2017;
  • The Financial Sector Regulation Act was signed into law on August 21 2017; and
  • The Government Technical Advisory Centre has been commissioned to set up a fund to benefit small and medium enterprises, with a particular focus on start-ups.

On managing fiscal and economic risks associated with state-owned entities:

  • Government granted South African Airways R5.2bn to address debt obligations. This allowed SAA to avoid default, roll over some debt and continue negotiations with lenders. A permanent chief executive officer has been appointed and the appointment of a chief restructuring officer is under way.
  • A private-sector participation framework and a template to determine and cost developmental mandates have been approved by Cabinet.
  • An energy task team resolved not to provide balance sheet support to Eskom. The minister of energy announced that Eskom will sign power-purchase agreements with independent power producers at a tariff not exceeding 77c per kilowatt hour.

On creating policy certainty by finalising key legislative and policy processes:

  • The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research completed a study on spectrum availability and open access.
  • The Competition Commission launched a market inquiry to investigate data prices.
  • Draft legislation is being finalised to facilitate the licensing of the Postbank.
  • Implementation of the revised Mining Charter has been postponed to December 2017.
  • Government is consulting stakeholders on the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill.

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