Gordhan: There needs to be equality for all

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered his 2017 Budget Speech, forecasting slightly improved economic growth in the years to come.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers his 2017 Budget Speech in Parliament. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG/PARLIAMENT - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has tabled a 2017 Budget that includes the announcement of a new tax bracket for super-earners, a bit of good news on growth and warnings over state debt.

The minister delivered his 2017 budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, forecasting slightly improved economic growth in the years to come.

As expected he's kept South Africa on its cost-cutting path.

Gordhan says there needs to be equality for all.

“Fellow South Africans if we make the right choices and do the right things, we’ll achieve a just and fair society; founded on human dignity and equality. We’ll indeed transform our economy and country so that we can all live in dignity, peace and wellbeing.”

The minister has made it clear that super-high-income earners will be handing over more of their pay cheque to the tax man from this year.


Gordhan says those earning more than R1.5 million a year will now have to pay 45% tax.

Faced with a personal income tax revenue shortfall of R30 billion due to a slowdown in the economy, government plans to tax high-income earners 45% of their taxable income.

Around 100,000 taxpayers will be affected.

The previous top bracket of 41% was set at just more than R701,000.

Overall, adjustments to the personal income tax tables are expected to raise an extra R16.5 billion.

“We believe in a progressive tax system. Secondly, the tax system is quiet crucial to redistribution in South Africa in view of all the other challenges that we have about economic participation and so on.”

Treasury is offering marginal relief to low-income earners, with the tax-free threshold being raised R75,750.


The minister also announced increases in fuel taxes and excise duties on tobacco and alcohol, along with increased spending on education and an update on the country's looming sugar tax.

Wednesday's session did not go entirely undisturbed, towards the end of his speech, the minister thanked his deputy with the House cheering.

Gordhan then turned his attention to President Jacob Zuma: “Allow me in conclusion, Mr President to thank you and the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for your guidance.”

But the Economic freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi interrupted: “Thank you Speaker. We’d like to call an order that there is no guidance that Zuma provides to the country.”

Speaker Baleka Mbete would have none of it and Gordhan summed up his speech.

“South Africans, wherever you are, you have an important contribution to make to transform our society on this process defend your gains and demand accountability from all.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)