Unions expect Eskom, taxes to be prioritised in budget speech

Unions expect Eskom, taxes to be prioritised in budget speech

All eyes will be on Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana this afternoon when he tables the national budget. Labour unions say the priorities for National Treasury this year include Eskom's debt, taxes, and social grants. 

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana PRE-WEF BREAKFAST

Trevor Shaku, who is with the SA Federation of Trade Unions, says they want to see budget cuts reversed and spending in critical service delivery areas boosted.  

"Treasury, in the very medium-term budget policy statement says that additional fiscal measures or reduction in headcount would be required in order to contain the overall public sector wage bill. 

'The consequences of these cuts are substantial reduction of jobs in various departments, lack of infrastructure, less maintenance and repair, shortage of working human in public institutions."

Political parties have also been listing their expectations for the 2023 budget speech. Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, the ANC's national spokesperson, says that they are hoping for a pro-poor budget. 

"That seeks to re-energise the economy placing it on a path of sustainable and conclusive growth whilst being responsible for current electricity availability challenges as well as persistent poverty and inequality lines."

As far as the environment is concerned, the Green Connection's Kholwani Simelane says the minister must remove the R813 million budget allocated for offshore exploration and fracking from the Mineral Resources Council. 

"And put it towards incentives to help marginalised the invulnerable communities within South African households by putting solar on their roofs and connecting them to the grid. We believe the acceleration of renewables and other clean alternatives is vital to replace coal power plants on the path to net zero."


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