Claims that the poor won’t pay more for an increase in value added tax (VAT), tabled in Malusi Gigaba’s Budget, are false. The questions are: did the Budget manage to mitigate increases in costs for the the poor – and were there other options? By GREG NICOLSON.
If you ever need somebody to ruin a party, consider inviting a dude from a ratings agency. At a Daily Maverick post-Budget event in Cape Town on Thursday, Standard & Poor’s chief Konrad Reuss warned that the so-called Ramaphosa Spring in South Africa could turn into something more like the Arab Spring if the country doesn’t change course fast. This, despite the fact that the Budget has addressed some aspects of the South African economy that the ratings boss believed were previously “very scary”. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Amakhosi in KwaZulu-Natal are threatening that there will be hell to pay should control of tribal land be taken away from them, and true to their word the issue surfaced in the first parliamentary debate of the year. With the ANC fractured as it is in the province, and with a general election just over a year away, this matter could menacingly hang around for a while yet. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
The EFF boycotted Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden Budget following its earlier calls for his sacking for being a “Gupta stooge”. The DA wanted to stop Gigaba from the floor of the House on Wednesday after a court had ruled hours earlier that he had lied under oath in a debacle over revoking permission allowing for private arrivals at airport facilities. Awkward. But the finance minister ploughed on to deliver the first value-added tax (VAT) increase in democratic South Africa to plug a revenue hole – a move roundly slammed by the opposition as anti-poor. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
If successful tax administration, productiveness and expertise at SARS is measured by the revenue it collects, we are in trouble. For the second year in a row, the service headed by Commissioner Tom Moyane did not meet its target. By PAULI VAN WYK for SCORPIO.
Dial one of Ajay Gupta’s numbers and all you get, for days on end, is: “You have reached the mailbox of…”. This seems to be a conundrum not only facing the Hawks who are looking for the fugitive but apparently one also faced by Optimum Coal Mine boss George van der Merwe, who urgently needs to raise a Gupta, any one of them, so he can sort out a crisis at the mine. By JESSICA BEZUIDENHOUT for SCORPIO.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address was well-received, but his administration’s first real challenge will be how it balances the books as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba tables the national Budget on Wednesday. Spoiler alert: It’s not going to be easy. By GREG NICOLSON.
South Africa’s “original sin” of black land dispossession would be redressed with land expropriation without compensation as part of the “collective action” required to unite the country, but without damaging the economy, agricultural production or food security. This was President Cyril Ramaphosa at his negotiating best: a nod to everyone’s concerns, a call for solution-focused unity of purpose and, ever so subtly, an ultimatum. His response on Tuesday to the parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address was a wake-up call for the opposition to up their politicking. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
How did a convict sentenced in 1996 to 10 years for robbery with aggravated circumstances find himself floating around the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung in 2012, flush with a cool R50-million aimed at stoking factional battles in the ANC? Continuing the tradition at Nasrec in December 2017, pressure was also allegedly placed on the SAPS to launder spend R45-million to buy votes. Details of this and other horrors of the Shadow State were revealed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate at a Scopa report-back on Tuesday. The clean-up has begun. By MARIANNE THAMM.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s to-do list just got longer. Monday’s parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address delivered demands from opposition parties and his own ANC – more money for municipalities, reining in the State Security Agency (SSA), a Cabinet reshuffle to shed State Capture-linked ministers and, depending on the opposition seat, either the speedy implementation or ditching of land expropriation without compensation. But for the first time in years the parliamentary debate focus was on national – not personality – issues. By MARIANNE MERTEN.