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Gordhan: Govt moving to ease regulatory burden for business

Pravin Gordhan says there’s going to be much closer collaboration with business in future.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivering his national Budget speech in Parliament on 24 February 2016. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the government's moving to ease the regulatory burden for business.

He says this includes setting up an entity called Invest South Africa, in partnership with the private sector, and efforts to cut the administrative costs of starting a business.

Delivering his Budget speech in Parliament this afternoon, Gordhan also announced that R475 million had been reprioritised to the Department of Small Business to help small and medium businesses.

The minister says there's going to be much closer collaboration with business in future and that the government has heard its pleas for greater policy certainty.

He also says the government will be looking to broaden of co-funding partnerships with private sector investors to accelerate infrastructure investment at a time when the balance sheets of several state-owned entities are stretched to the limit.

Merging South African Airways and SA express into one bigger more efficient airline is on the cards.

Gordhan says government aims to strengthen state-owned enterprises so they can help drive growth.

'GOVT HAS A DUTY TO REWARD TAXPAYERS'

Gordhan's moved to restore confidence in the ailing South African economy among cash-strapped citizens as well as investors, in SA and abroad.

Taxpayers can heave a sigh of relief as his budget contains no shock income tax hikes as was widely expected.

WATCH: Tax proposals.

He's also found money to help pensioners and those on social grants to keep pace with inflation with nearly R6 billion to meet the university fees shortfall.

An upbeat Gordhan delivered a budget that will cut government spending by R25 billion over the next three years, mainly by targeting its massive wage bill through freezing non-essential posts.

He's given citizens hope by holding off on vat or income tax increases - though there'll be some pain through hikes in the fuel levy, a new tyre levy and a tax on sugar-laden drinks.

The minister says the government has a duty to reward taxpayers by improving the impact of each rand spent and to eliminate waste and corruption.

"We have also been mindful of the need to moderate the impact of tax increases on households and firms in present economic Context."

While acknowledging the tough times, Gordhan's insisting the economy's able to bounce back if there's bold leadership and people work together.

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