R11bn in outstanding VAT refunds to help stimulate economy, says Mboweni

Mboweni suggested the R11 billion in outstanding VAT refunds that will now be repaid will help stimulate the economy and says other measures to stimulate the economy could give consumers some relief.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 24 October 2018 in Parliament. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says the R11 billion in outstanding VAT refunds that will now be repaid will help to stimulate the economy.

A visibly tired Mboweni has been defending the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTPBS) he unveiled on Wednesday at a press briefing at Parliament.

He also says there are no holy cows when it comes to dealing with state-owned entities, saying if South African Airways (SAA) has to be closed down, then it should be.

Mboweni says austerity measures are not part of any plan now, saying this will depend on developments ahead of next year’s budget.

“This is our thinking on what needs to be done, so I can’t speculate on anything else, it’s what we have.”

But he suggested the R11 billion in outstanding VAT refunds that will now be repaid will help stimulate the economy and says other measures to stimulate the economy - as well as zero-rating more items - could give consumers some relief.

On SAA, which is getting a R5 billion bailout, Mboweni said: “SAA is not a holy cow – at all.”

He says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is looking at what can be done about the airline and its subsidiaries.

“… If we need to close it down we should. After all, who travels on SAA? It is not the working class. You are better off making sure that your trains which are used by the working class work properly.”

READ: The full MTBPS

Speech by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)