Mixed reaction to Gordhan's mini-budget

Mixed reaction to Gordhan's mini-budget

There has been mixed reaction to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's Medium Term Budget Policy Statement delivered yesterday. 

Pravin Gordhan_jacanews
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Some are praising him for pulling off a tough balancing act, while others say even though they disagree with his budget, they still back him in his court case next week. 

He will appear in the Pretoria Regional Court on 2 November on a charge of fraud - a charge many believe is an attempt by President Jacob Zuma to have Gordhan removed from Treasury.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane believes Gordhan did not give into pressure to find a quick solution to the country's economic challenges, but rather committed to long term interventions.

"I thought the statement was solid, but the issues on the table are whether or not the President will have power beyond his own hands," Maimane said.

The EFF's Julius Malema, meanwhile, explains why he believes South Africans should support Gordhan.

"If you love South Africa. If you want to defend a democratic state. If you stand against corruption. If you want Zuma to go, the place to be on 2 November is Tshwane. It's not Gordhan who is being charged. It's the constitution, the sovereignty of South Africa is being charged, is being put on trial," Malema said.

Students and their fees

Students outside parliament were unimpressed with Gordhan's additional R17 billion allocated to tertiary education.

"We understand the concerns of our students and their parents. We appreciate their difficulties. We will do everything that is possible to regain normality on our campuses. We do not want them to lose the 2016 academic year. We want the violence to stop," Gordhan said.

Gordhan says, ultimately, government wants to relieve the pressure on poor students, and ensure they have access to higher education. 

Gordhan is speaking to News24 in Cape Town, a day after tabling his mini-budget in the National Assembly. 

Despite the additional funds for students and universities over the next three years, Gordhan admits more needs to be done.

"I think the slogan [for free education] must be differentiated from the practical realities and a pragmatic approach where a) we say we recognise your difficulties, b) we know that certain shifts are required, c) we found money in February this year, d) we found money now to look at this particular situation and e) there is a longer term set of issues that we need to take care of," Gordhan said.

Videos by Pieter van der Merwe

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