Wednesday 20 February 2019 marked an important day for South Africans. Members of Parliament (MPs) gathered to listen to Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni present the National Budget, while citizens were eager to learn the nation’s financial situation.Minister Mboweni confirmed that his Budget Speech aligns with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision for the country. “In the 2019 State of the Nation Address, our President set out an ambitious agenda for our nation. It is an agenda that speaks to the South Africa that we can be. It is a task list for all ofIt lays out a series of interventions that will put South Africa on a bold new path,” the minister said in his address.He also confirmed that government is set to fork out R5,8tn over the next three years; R1,2tn will go towards education, R717bn to public health and approximately R900bn to social development over three years.National Treasury shares some key take outs from the 2019 Budget Speech:Gross debt is expected to stabilise at 60.2 per cent of GDP in 2023/24.Real growth in consolidated non-interest expenditure will average 2 per cent over the nextthree years.Tax revenue for 2018/19 will undershoot the mini-budget estimate by R15.4 billion, half of this due to higher than expected Vat refunds.There will be no change to personal income tax rates or brackets but slight adjustment to rebates (revenue of R12.8 billion to be raised this way; collection by stealth).Employment tax incentive of up to R1 000 can be claimed for employees earning up to R4 500 p/m (previously R4 000).Carbon tax of 9c per litre on petrol and 10c per litre on diesel effective 5 June.New Sars commissioner to be appointed soon.The South African National Roads Agency is allocated an additional R3.5 billion over the next 3 years to improve non-toll roads.R1.8 billion is allocated for the implementation of 262 priority land-reform projects over the next three years. R3.7 billion is set aside to assist emerging farmers seeking to acquire land to farm. The Land Bank will support smallholders, and leverage partnerships with other financial institutions. It aims to disburse R3 billion in the next fiscal yearOlder public servants may retire early and gracefully, leading to savings of R4.8 billion in 2019/20; R7.5 billion in 2020/21 and R8 billion in 2021/22Allocation to Jobs Fund to rise to R1.1 billion over three yearsOld age grant rises R80, foster care up R40 to R1 000, and child support grant to R420 in April and R430 in OctoberR481.6 million is allocated to the Small Enterprise Development Agency to expand the small business incubation programme.Additional Reporting: National Treasury
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