The DA has released a statement suggesting that Minister Mboweni’s silence on SOE bailouts was intentional, as some funds are set to be received by the troubled parastatals.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) took to Twitter on Wednesday, 24 February 2021, to circulate a statement penned by its Shadow Minister of Finance, Geordin Hill-Lewis. Hill-Lewis remarked on the budget speech that was delivered by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni in the afternoon.
Overall, Hill-Lewis and the party’s stance is that Mboweni intentionally omitted certain details during his address to avoid hard questions. Hill-Lewis, in the statement, noted at least four instances where Mboweni supposedly told a convenient truth on the reforms set to be introduced.
Firstly, although taxes were not increased, increasing the petrol prices will have an impact on the cost of living for South Africans. Secondly, he commented on the reported cut on social grant funds.
Thirdly, Hill-Lewis reflected on the continued bailouts for troubled parastatals, stating, “The Minister announced yet another immoral bailout for SAA of R4.3 billion, an enormous R31.7 billion for Eskom, and R7 billion for the Land Bank. Each year these bailouts are repeated, and each year the government promises they will end. The truth is that there is no plan to end them, and they will not end until these zombie state companies are broken up, sold off, or shut down.
“Every year the DA has warned that these endless bailouts will mean cuts to essential spending. That time of reckoning is now here, as the ANC is now cutting social grants by R5.8 billion to bail out SAA again with R4.3 billion. The trade-off is direct, and is paid for by the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.”
See the post below.
The Minister of Finance has cut allocations to social grants to pay more bailouts for SAA, Eskom and the Land Bank.
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) February 24, 2021