Gordhan wants 'higher quality outcomes'
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER: "It’s important that we begin to understand the constraints we working with, that everything we want can’t be delivered at the same time"
South Africa has a sound fiscal framework and is not heading for disaster, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.
Briefing journalists ahead of delivering his medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly, he said the country would recover from the effects of global and local economic crises. “We are fiscally safe and not about to fall off any cliff,” said Gordhan.
The public purse had enough funds to meet the immediate needs of the country, but growth remained sensitive to global and internal factors.
He echoed the views of many economists, saying recovery from a recession could take anywhere from three to five years.
“South Africa finds itself in that context, and in addition to that we have our own challenge... mining strikes, the impact on production and on export from this country, on foreign exchange and revenue.”
The minister said his Cabinet colleagues were acutely aware of the fiscal constraints, and that they had to learn to work with the money they were allocated.
“It’s important to... continue to enforce the idea that in difficult times we do not carry on with business as usual, and to ensure that where shifts in priority need to take place, they do take place,” Gordhan said.
“It’s important that we begin to understand the constraints we working with, that everything we want can’t be delivered at the same time.”
He suggested it was time government upped its game in terms of implementing policy.
“We need to make more effective use of our resources to ensure that where we have large sums of money assigned, we get much higher quality outcomes than we’ve been getting up to now.”