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Gauteng adjustment budget is a feeble attempt to repair damage caused by Covid-19 in the province

(Debate in Gauteng Legislature on the provincial medium-term adjustment budget)

The adjustment budget that the Gauteng MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, tabled earlier today in the Gauteng Legislature offers no substantive measures to repair the damage caused by Covid-19.

In fact, the budget is just an extension of previous attempts that did not even make a dent in the unemployment crisis. There is no doubt that the ANC is not taking the economic crisis in which the province currently finds itself seriously enough and the FF Plus will make a strong argument along those lines during next week's budget vote debate.

Nkomo-Ralehoko once again stated that the pandemic has created an opportunity to put the economy on a new trajectory, which is in line with previous statements that the current health crisis offers a platform for economic transformation.

The FF Plus considers it scandalous that the ANC is more interested in promoting transformation, which has proven not to be a tool to bring about economic growth, than in implementing sound policy that will ensure that the economy flourishes for everyone's benefit.

Apart from further developing the special economic zones in the province, which do not truly create many more job opportunities, the MEC also announced that job creation will be achieved by means of the Tshepo 1 million programme and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The problem is that the latter two programmes only create jobs temporarily and do not address the endemic structural causes of unemployment.

In addition, the provincial government plans mass-employment by the public sector. The FF Plus considers this to be a fatal mistake that will ultimately only speed up the fiscal collapse that we are all waiting for.

The MEC's announcement that the Premier wants to create an environment that will attract investments is a ray of hope in an otherwise dreary budget.

The FF Plus will make sure that the Premier, David Makhura, takes note of the fact that the ANC will have to abandon its many destructive policies to achieve this.

 

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