[WATCH] Treasury appears before Parly joint finance committee

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Treasury top officials before Parliament's joint finance committee following the tabling of his Budget Speech.

FILE: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Treasury says rating agencies Fitch, Moody’s and S&P Global have all applauded South Africa's Budget which has seen an increase in value-added tax for the first time in over two decades.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and top officials from the Treasury appear before Parliament's joint finance committee following the tabling of his Budget speech.

Director-General Dondo Mogajane has told a parliamentary committee that the department has spoken telephonically to the agencies.

He says all three agencies were of the preliminary view that the country has done well.

Fitch and S&P cut South Africa’s local debt rating to sub-investment last year, while Moody’s is due to announce a decision in March.

On Wednesday, Gigaba announced a one percentage point hike in VAT and an R85 billion cut in government spending over the next three years in what he’s calling a “tough but hopeful Budget”.

He also said the fuel levy will rise by 52 cents a litre and R57 billion will be spent over the next three years to phase in fee-free higher education.

WATCH: Gigaba appears before Parly joint finance committee