Budget: Gordhan must make the best of a bad job market

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will deliver his medium-term budget policy statement in Parliament this afternoon amid increasing pressure to enable job growth.

Among those expressing concerns about the country venturing into territory that places the nation’s economic stability at risk were the Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People, which said South Africa, grappling with high unemployment levels, could not afford government finances to slip.

President Jacob Zuma’s promise of 2011 being the “year of the job” had not materialised, DA spokesperson Dion George said ahead of Gordhan’s address.

Instead, the economy had stagnated and unemployment had steadily risen, and was now approaching crisis levels with nearly seven million people unemployed, said George.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) called on Gordhan to make enterprise support a key theme of the budget. The cost of doing business should be reduced, Sacci chief executive Neren Rau said on Monday.

Business wanted the treasury to commit to a clear shift away from poverty alleviation measures that continued to foster dependency on the government, said Sacci.—Sapa

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