DA: Gigaba must focus on big 5 challenges to reverse economic decline

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is set to deliver his first medium-term budget policy statement in Parliament on Wednesday.

FILE: Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that Wednesday’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) is a chance for Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to take decisive action to reverse the country’s economic decline.

The party’s David Maynier and Alf Lees are briefing journalists in Parliament.

Gigaba is set to deliver his first MTBPS in Parliament on Wednesday.

Maynier says that the economy is in trouble and that Gigaba has little room to manoeuvre, as rating firms are concerned about political jostling ahead of the ANC’s conference in December.

"We are now in deep economic trouble with weak economic growth, staggering unemployment, significant fiscal slippage, vulnerable financial institutions, zombie state-owned enterprises, major long-term fiscal risks and, of course, ratings agencies ready to pounce."

The party has suggested a range of actions that it says Gigaba should implement.

The party says that the minister should focus on the "big five" challenges, including boosting economic growth, stabilising public finances, supporting the independence of financial institutions, reforming “zombie" state-owned enterprises and mitigating significant long-term fiscal risks.

The DA says the success or failure of the minister’s MTBPS will be defined by the hope he can give to the 9.3 million people who do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)