Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has asked South Africans to share ideas on how best to boost economic growth ahead of his Budget speech on Wednesday.
Tips were submitted via the Treasury website, and also tweeted to @TreasuryRSA with the hashtag #TipsForMinFin and #RSABudget2019.
Many of the comments on Twitter were concerned with action against government corruption.
Calls for policy certainty were also a popular suggestion.
Following a painful week of loadshedding, the electricity provider was clearly top of mind. There were plenty of practical ideas to deal with the problems facing the troubled utility, particularly its struggles with non-paying clients.
#TipsForMinFin Open up the market for private energy producers to supply to Eskom. Let Eskom focus on infrastructure and distribution, and do not let them get any mote debt! Ditto on all parastatals, no more debt! It wastes money that could be invested with actual rewards.— Jason Barber (@ComradeJason) January 24, 2019
By far the most suggestions concerned proposed tax changes - with ideas ranging from a lower VAT threshold for small businesses to zero-tax free trade areas.
@treasury #TipsForMinFin #RSABudget2019 I am appealing to the SA govt to introduce an NHI Tax of R20.00 across the board for all employees earning more than 5000 per month effective from July 2018. Companies should pay R50 towards NHI per month,such contribution will help a lot— Guda Mwandla (@guda179) January 25, 2019
Social media users had some ideas to bolster the economic prospects of poor communities.
#TipsForMinFin Create community owned mini hydroponic/organic/greenhouse agricultural industries in rural areas, with strategic trading nodes equipped with infrastructure for refrigeration and transport. Match geographic areas/climate with suitable High Demand crops for export.— Jason Barber (@ComradeJason) January 24, 2019
@TreasuryRSA use the underutilised army and its bases to set up youth training centres countrywide that provide technical skills training like construction, vehicle mechanics etc so they can work for themselves, grow the economy and instill discipline, patriotism #TipsForMinFin— Matt (@Matthew71839425) January 24, 2019
#TipsForMinFin @tito_mboweni @TreasuryRSA please increase the Section12I budget over current R20b. At least another R10b. Currently it is fully allocated and it is effectively sending message to large manufacturing investors that we are closed for business. @the_dti— Duane Newman (@Duane_Newman) January 25, 2019
Road Accident Fund
The Road Accident Fund, which funds claims from accident victims, is in severe financial problems, with its liability on track to reach more than R355 billion by next year. The RAF levy was hiked by 30c a litre last year to cope with this, and Mboweni is expected to increase the levy again this year.
There were some suggestions on how to deal with the RAF conundrum:
@TreasuryRSA#TipsForMinFin#RSABudget2019@tito_mboweniThe Raod accident fund levy should be redirected to education or free technical skills training. The RAF fund must be stopped. It's being abused and not 4 this country right now. maybe in da future but not now— Heman (@Heman13719700) January 25, 2019
Tax revenue continues to disappoint, which could push the budget deficit to almost 5% of GDP. There were a number of ideas to reduce government spending.
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