South Africa to Raise VAT for First Time in 25 years

South Africa to Raise VAT for First Time in 25 years

At the beginning of his speech Gigaba said that this would be a tough but hopeful budget focused on rebuilding and restoration. Treasury projections are so low that South Africa is even expected to underperform most developed market growth rates. He also added that the economic indicators have improved since his mini-budget speech in October a year ago.

On the other hand, Minister Gigaba announced some relief for the poor and the working class in the form of below inflation increase in personal income tax, while ensuring an above average increase in social grants.

Gigaba's first budget was an uphill climb, partly because he was the bearer of bad news and mostly because he was not the person who could rally South Africans to give the government more of their money.

According to some analysts, the budget did include some surprises, but they were quite positive - specifically, the adjustment of the country's tax brackets, where the expectation was that they would stay the same.

Gigaba's budget was applauded by the ruling party and the business sector, but strongly criticized by opposition parties and trade unions, particularly the first increase in Value-Added Tax in 25 years.

"The vague statements on the stabilisation of balance sheets of SOEs provide no certainty or confidence that further bailouts will be avoided", said Theron.

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The minister also explained that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will remain the primary vehicle through which this fee-free tertiary education would be rolled out. This means that higher-earning households will pay more tax.

Concerned about significant increase in state spending‚ including in the cost of the executive.

EFF national spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, says in the release the allocation to local government remains at 9% of the total revenue while local government is at the coalface of service delivery in South Africa.

The rand has advanced 12% since Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as leader of the ANC in December, setting him on a path to become the country's president when Jacob Zuma resigned last week.

"We further view his budget as committed to the protection of capitalist accumulation which has not led, over the past 24 years, to any meaningful investments", said Ndlozi.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview.

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