By Lwazi Nongauza
Stabilizing the economy, addressing gender inequities and clearly outlining free higher education are some of the issues social change drivers dared Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to prioritize on his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on the 24th of October.
The newly appointed Finance Minister kick-started his difficult task by educating the public about the significance of the mid-term budget speech. The Minister also used the unorthodox social media way of inviting the public’s contribution to his upcoming mid-term budget speech.
‘’Let us do something unusual which will annoy the Establishment. If you were Minister of Finance, what would you announce on Wednesday next week? It is time for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). Over to you. Don’t tell the Establishment about this tweet!’’ Minster Mboweni tweet.
Thousands of South Africans wasted no time in telling the new Finance Minister what they think should be prioritized. Some of those include the former Public Protector Prof Thuli Madonsela.
#DearMinisterMboweni Thanks for being consistently democratic. I’d announce VAT exemption for chicken; it’s eaten more by the poor than many VAT insulated items; reduce pecks for ministers, MPs/senior public employees and invest in enterprise-development and inequality reduction.’’ Madonsela tweeted.
Social change drivers might not have submitted their views directly to National Treasury via the above-mentioned platforms but they have made their voices heard in different platforms.
North West-based social change driver Remofiloe Mogashoa is not impressed with South Africa’s manufacturing statistics in the last quarter pleaded with Minister Mboweni to follow President Ramaphosa’s economic stimulus plan by prioritizing the manufacturing industry.
“As a textile entrepreneur, I really hope that the Finance Minister’s mid-term speech will prioritize subsidizing the manufacturing, more especially in the steel industry. Offering relief to manufacturers will ease with the exports costs and greatly contribute in creating the targeted 275 000 jobs which government promised at the Job Summit,” said Mogashoa.
Gauteng-based social change driver Daniel Du Preez lamented government systematic isolation of the LGBTQI+ community in society. Du Preez dared Minister Mboweni to strategically use the mid-term budget to economically include LGBTQI+ community.
“I would like to hear the Finance Minister’s incentives plan that encourages government and private sector to also fairly consider hiring people from the LGBTQI+ community. Skills development and total inclusion in government support, as well as privileges such as housing, are some of the things we as LGBTQI+ Community would, like any other citizens, like to receive,” said Du Preez.
Eastern Cape-based education activist Thabang Mofokeng edged the Finance Minister to frankly address the agonizing free higher education strategy.
“I would like Minister Mboweni to outline a higher education funding model and assure youth that government pronouncement of free higher education wasn’t just point-scoring political rhetoric. This will appease young people and give higher learning institution a green light on how to financially plan for years, decades and centuries to come,’’ said Mofokeng.
What would you like Minister Mboweni’s Mid Medium Term Budget Policy Statement to focus on? Let us know @ActivateZA with the hashtag #DearMinisterMboweni.
Photo Cred: SA History Online