South Africa will implement spending cuts of R25 billion rand and raise revenue by R15 billion in next year’s budget to contain growing debt, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told Parliament on Wednesday.
Gigaba said the extra R40 billion, or 0.8% of GDP, would be used to tackle rising public debt which otherwise could balloon beyond 60% of GDP by 2022.
The Finance Minister says the government will not be reckless when it comes to investing in more nuclear power.
The medium-term budget policy statement Gigaba released in October makes no provision for any spending on nuclear for the next three years.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi told Gigaba that President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo were nevertheless insisting the build programme would go ahead and asked him where the money would come from.
Gigaba’s told Members of Parliament nuclear remains part of the country’s energy mix but that the process of reviewing the plans determining future needs should be given a chance.
“We are certainly not going to move in any reckless way in this regard, we remain guided by what the country can afford, the demand for electricity in the country and what the budget can afford.”