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Date for Medium Term Budget Policy Statement Set Down

September 20, 2021

National Treasury

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) will be tabled on 4 November 2021 in the national assembly.

In a statement, national treasury confirmed that the MTBPS sets out the policy framework for the Budget that is presented in February every year.

It also “updates National Treasury’s economic forecasts, adjusts the budgets of government departments and makes emergency changes to spending”.

Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 45170, the South African Revenue Service published an amendment to Schedule 1 of the Customs and Excise Act:

• Amendment to Part 1 of Schedule No. 1, by the substitution of tariff subheading 7325.91, in order to increase the general rate of customs duty on grinding balls from free of duty to 15% – ITAC Report No. 638.

In a separate matter, treasury briefed the national council of provinces on the Second Special Appropriation Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in August 2021 and is currently before the standing committee on appropriations.

Treasury published the bill’s explanatory summary in Gazette 45013 on 19 August 2021.

According to the explanatory summary, the bill aims to address the impact of the recent unrest and the Covid-19 pandemic by providing for:

• additional urgent funding allocations; and
• amounts authorised in terms of section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999.

The bill’s memorandum points out that the bill provides for additional urgent funding allocations of R32.850 billion in the 2021/22 financial year to the votes of national treasury, social development, defence, police and trade, industry and competition.

The bill also includes spending authorised by the finance minister in terms of section 16 of the PFMA for the reintroduction of the Social Relief of Distress grant and support for small businesses.

In response, the select committee on appropriations’ chairperson, Dikeledi Mahlangu, cautioned that the “country should not be turned into a welfare state”.

She added that there is a “need for a sustainable strategic plan going forward and called for the avoidance of a recurrence of the bungle during the previous disbursement of the R350 grant”.

The chairperson declared that a proper plan needs to be put in place to avert any possible fraud.

In a statement, the committee pointed out that, according to treasury, a study has been commissioned to determine what long-term plan can be devised to close 80% of the current poverty gap.

Five options are under consideration including evaluating the current R350 grant; the Basic Income Grant; the Brazilian model that offers grants to poor households rather than individuals; an evaluation of the Presidential Employment Initiative and consideration of a job seekers’ grant.