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Nene: Govt needs to watch its spending

Nene said it’s vital that his dept puts measures in place to counter a slowdown in the economy.

Nhlanhla Nene says it’s vital that his department puts measures in place to counter a slowdown in the economy. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has indicated government will have to watch its spending amid slow economic growth.

Addressing Parliament's Finance Portfolio Committee on Wednesday, Nene and officials from the South African Revenue Service (Sars) presented their strategic plan for the next five years.

Nene said it's vital that his department puts measures in place to counter a slowdown in the economy.

The minister added that it's imperative that government's National Development Plan stays on track despite a sluggish economic climate.

Nene was questioned on the adverse effect the platinum miners' strike will have on the country's tax revenue collection.

He said government needed to preempt challenges like these which could affect the country's growth.

"We were very clear. We put up an expenditure ceiling and if those risks continued to strangle us, we're in a position to meet our developmental challenges."

Nene's comments come after South Africa's economy contracted 0,6 percent in the first quarter of 2014, largely due to a protracted strike in the platinum sector.

Nene said Sars aimed to collect close on R1 trillion, despite slower economic growth.

The service has a revenue projection of more than R993 billion for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Nene says Sars has a clear mandate which can't be affected by a slow economy.

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