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Jonas: We assured Fitch SA's commited to fiscal discipline

Nov 15 2016 17:19
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town - National Treasury had a meeting with Fitch ratings agency on Tuesday in which it affirmed South Africa’s commitment to fiscal discipline.

This is according to Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas who told members of parliament on Tuesday that fiscal consolidation and inclusive growth are National Treasury’s two focus areas going forward and this message was also conveyed to Fitch. 

Jonas was the last speaker in a debate on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill – a piece of legislation that makes provision for changes in the allocations to provinces and local governments in the current financial year.

Jonas emphasised that National Treasury remains committed to implement a measured and balanced fiscal framework. “The division of revenue legislation makes provision for emergencies and rollovers, but we’re remaining within the fiscal framework.”

This, however, doesn’t mean that government fails in delivery of services and grants to local and provincial government.

“It is incorrect to say we’re practicing austerity,” Jonas said.

“We’re committed to deliver social services and invest for higher levels of growth in future. The commitment is reflected in the fact that the bill makes no reduction to the provincial and local governments’ equitable share.

“We have managed to maintain 2009 spending levels over the medium term economic framework. Allocations to provinces have grown by 7.5% and at 8% for local government.

Jonas added that there had been considerable investment in South Africa’s automotive sector recently. “Yet if you listen to the misstatements in this house you’d think it’s just doom and gloom.”

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