According to Ballimm the latest Budget was drawn up with the poor in mind
How would you describe this year's budget?
The budget endorses the idea of a virtuous cycle that has been spawned out of a sound macro-economic framework that has been put in place about a decade ago.
Where has Manuel focused his spend this year and why?
As has become tradition, the idea that the clusters of economic, social and welfare spending have continued to gain prominence in the Budget allocation and this has in the main been because of reduced interest expense.
What does this mean for the man on the street?
Ordinary South Africans or poorer South Africans will receive benefits in the form of higher, more aggressive social welfare expenditure and also continued incremental tax relief.
Indeed, the average South African taxpayer pays around 20 percent less in income tax presently than six years ago.
Poverty alleviation and job creations are two of Sowetan readers' biggest concerns. Do you think Manuel has addressed these issues adequately?
Yes, he has addressed this to the best of the fiscus ability in that the Budget is clearly pro-poor given the socio-economic spending biases. And at the same time to the extent that the budget encourages around five percent real gross domestic product growth over the next couple of years alludes to a high potential for labour absorption and therefore income generation.
Do you think government is on the right track?
I would suggest the evidence can be found in an economic growth rate which is more than three times stronger than that experienced in the 1990s. Simple arithmetic suggests that South Africa's economy will double in less than two decades whereas the growth rate of the 1990s would have left the economy only doubling every 50 years. It offers the potential for more quickly addressing the central threats to our society's wellbeing and that is poverty and unemployment.