Gordhan: SA's economy is growing slowly

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the economy is growing, but more slowly than projected a year ago.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the economy is growing, but more slowly than projected a year ago. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says South Africa's economy is growing, but more slowly than projected a year ago.

He is delivering his Budget Speech in Parliament.

The country's economy is expected to grow by at least 2.7 percent this year.

"A weaker exchange rate is a risk to the inflation outlook but it supports exporters. Sustained improvements in competitiveness require further investment in infrastructure and a range of micro-economic reforms."

Gordhan says the budget deficit is expected to be 4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The deficit will narrow to 2.8 percent of GDP over the medium term and the net debt will stabilise at about 45 percent of GDP in 2016/17."

Gordhan has revealed some benefits to households, including more than R9 billion in income tax relief.

"Government will expand its employment programmes over the next three years and continue to support job creation by the private sector. We will build 216,000 houses and connect 905,000 households to electricity over this three year period."

Meanwhile, some South Africans have taken to social networks to react on the Budget Speech.

Think about it: #Budget2014 cash has been taken from those who made it efficiently, to give to people ( #Zuma et al.) to spend it wastefully!

Just make sure it goes to farmers, not consultants&bureaucratic gravy train.R7 billion 2 be spent 2 support small holder farmers#Budget2014

When Pravin Gordhan speaks, all I hear is "blah blah blah we're awesome blah blah polish our knobs blah blah blah". #budget2014