Met Health: SA resilient in tough world

2012-10-25 16:38

Johannesburg - South Africa was still resilient in a tough world, said Metropolitan Health CEO Blum Khan on Thursday in response to the 2012/13 budget adjustments tabled in Parliament.

"[There was] some comfort that we are still quite resilient in a very tough lower growth world," he said.

However, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's presentation had also highlighted several problems for the country.

The largest share of the spending went to the government salary bill, which concerned Khan.

"This obviously limits our ability to spend money on other pressing issues," he said These included infrastructure and economic development.

Implementing the National Health Insurance plan was likely to be further delayed as economic pressure became more severe.

Continued growth in social grants -- now reaching 17 million South Africans -- was of great concern.

Consolidated government expenditure was projected to grow by an average of 8.2% until 2016. During this period, real GDP growth would remain between 2.5% and 4.1%, according to Gordhan.

"Given the state of the world economy, it is more likely that we will see muted growth," Khan said.

This would need careful review of expenditure unless the economy strongly picked up.

"The wild card remains the impact of a future weak rand on inflation and the personal debt burden South Africans are carrying," he said.

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