National budget speech 2019 – highlights

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On the 20th of February 2019, the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni delivered the national budget speech for 2019. As Mboweni highlighted in his speech, the aim of the 2019 budget is to achieve a higher rate of economic growth; increase tax collection; establish reasonable, affordable expenditure; stabilise and reduce debt; reconfigure state-owned enterprises; and manage the public sector wage bill. Below are some of the key highlights from the 2019 budget:

  • Tax revenue: The 2018/2019 tax revenue estimate has been decreased by R15.4 billion, relative to the 2018 MTBPS.
  • Economic growth: The medium-term economic growth outlook has also been revised. GDP growth is expected to reach 1.5% in 2019, and rise to 2.1% in 2021.
  • Expenditure: The expenditure ceiling has increased by R14 billion in 2019/20, R1.3 billion in 2020/21, and R793 million in 2021/22.
  • Debt: The government's gross debt requirement has risen to R239.5 billion over the last year. Additionally, the Gross debt-to-GDP is expected to stabilise at 60.2% of the GDP in 2023/24.
  • Education: Over R30 billion has been allocated for building new schools and maintaining existing infrastructure.
  • Social grants: R567 billion has been allocated for social grant payments, to help fight poverty and inequality.
  • Alcohol and cigarettes: Excise duties on alcohol and tobacco (cigarettes) will increase in 2019.

To find out more about the budget and the impact it will have on your life as a citizen and entrepreneur, explore the following links:

For detailed information on the 2019 budget, translations of the People's guide to the budget into certain official languages, or other additional resources, please visit the National Treasury's website.

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