What the 2019 budget speech means to South Africans

By Real People at 26 Feb 2019, 09:20 AM


On 20 February 2019, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni presented his budget for the next financial year. In these tough economic times, this is an event that receives great attention, as South Africans wait for the news of how the budget will affect them in the year to come.

A grant for first-time homeowners

The government has set aside money to help people buy homes, support land reform and transfer deeds. The pilot would support first-time home buyers and is meant to help people build assets and wealth. This initiative, in particular, is extremely important to the ongoing growth and stability of a developing country.

A renewed focus on education

More than R30bn has been allocated to build new schools and maintain school infrastructure, as well as R2.8bn to replace pit latrines at more than 2,400 schools.

In tertiary education, R111.2bn has been allocated to help 2.8m students from poor and working-class families obtain qualifications at universities, technical and vocational education, and training (TVET) colleges.

Increase in payments of social grants

The minister announced an R80 increase in old-age, disability, war-veteran and care-dependency. The child support grant will increase to R420 in April and to R430 in October. An increase in social grants would help contribute to economic activity, as more people would have money to spend on the things they need – especially in townships.

More support for small business

To support small business, the government has allocated R481.6m to the Small Enterprise Development Agency to expand the small-business incubation programme.

Carbon tax and fuel increase

Carbon tax will come into effect from June 1 2019. This means South Africans and companies will pay tax for polluting the environment. Fuel levies will increase by 29c per litre for petrol and 30c per litre for diesel.

Expansion of VAT zero-rated items

From April 1 2019, white bread flour, cake flour and sanitary pads will not carry value-added tax (VAT). The budget comes across very market specific and this is a win for the consumer.

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Source: Sowetanlive