Today, the Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene gave his first budget speech in Parliament. As predicted by People's Assembly, the speech touched on pressing matters such as the energy crisis and proposed tax changes.
The Minister told citizens that the country's projected economic growth for 2015 was expected to be a low 2% because "electricity constraints hold back growth in manufacturing and mining, and also inhibit investment in housing and raise costs for businesses and households." Economic growth is expected to increase to 3% in 2017 - disconcertingly low when compared with other emerging markets on the continent.
As a precaution, the Minister has said that the focus will be on less energy-intensive sectors such as tourism, agriculture, light manufacturing and housing construction - areas that have the added bonus of being able to employ more people.
Minister Nene's budget also showed that the education, economic affairs and health sectors remain core priorities for the government and that more focus will put on local development and social infrastructure.
To read the full speech, click here.
See the infographic below for a simplified breakdown of the government's priorities according to the budget speech:
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