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Minister of Finance warns of tax increases

Nhlanhla Nene says that the country has to dig itself out of debt and get its fiscal house in order.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene has warned of changes to tax policy next year that could see South African taxpayers paying more.

Delivering his Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament this afternoon, he says that the country has to dig itself out of debt and get its fiscal house in order.

That means a clampdown on government spending but also pain in the pocket for taxpayers.

Nene has announced a package of measures for the next two years aimed at putting the country's finances on track.

They include keeping government spending at current levels and asking taxpayers to pay more.

The weak economic performance has put a great deal of pressure on the fiscus, with revenue insufficient to cover expenditure.

Nene says while the measures might dampen economic growth slightly in the short term, they're absolutely necessary to put the country on a stable fiscal footing.

He will only reveal details of the proposed changes to tax policy when he unveils his main budget in February next year.

Nene slashed the country's growth expectations, forecasting expansion of just 1,4 percent.

The Treasury says the cut is the result of several factors including a wave of strikes, an electricity crunch and weak private investment.