Accessing accurate public information

Through social media apps, websites, and other digital tools, the internet gives us a lot of ways to connect with each other. This makes information easy to find.

However, the ease with which we get information online makes it hard to determine how t…


Through social media apps, websites, and other digital tools, the internet gives us a lot of ways to connect with each other. This makes information easy to find.

However, the ease with which we get information online makes it hard to determine how true it is. The COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of this challenge because knowledge spread very quickly through our phones and social media sites.

During this dark time, scary fake news spread very quickly, making it harder for people to get the right information and stay safe, which was bad for their health and made them less likely to trust others.

In order to fight fake news, the South African government set up many ways for people to easily get true and accurate information. This included the SA Coronavirus website, social media accounts, and regular updates for the whole country.

Lessons from the pandemic

Because of the pandemic, government learned that giving people easy access to reliable information gave them the tools they needed to make smart ch
oices about how to protect their health.

Building on the success of spreading information widely during COVID-19, government has adopted a multi-media approach that uses all forms of media to give South Africans more power by giving them accurate information about problems facing the country, the government’s solutions, and programmes meant to bring about change.

Government just recently set up two WhatsApp channels, governmentza and the PresidencyZA, that people can follow to get regular updates on things that affect everyone, like chances for legal education and work.

This adds to government’s social media platform GovernmentZA, which lets people get true information right away and talk to the government directly. People should follow these social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, WhatsApp, X, and YouTube, as well as government websites like https://www.gov.za, https://www.gcis.gov.za/, and https://www.thepresidency.gov.za/, to get accurate news about issues that affect the whole coun
try.

The GCIS also has its own in-house news agency, SAnews (https://www.sanews.gov.za/) which provides regular news updates on matters of public concern, at no cost. In addition the GCIS launched a podcast, Vuk Talks to give people more access to information about government programmes. It’s on YouTube and Spotify.

Our online presence adapts to the changing needs of our citizens, but we also make sure that people who don’t have access to the internet can still get information.

The government tries to get accurate and reliable news to millions of people in rural areas and townships. Over the years Vuk’uzenzele newspaper has touched the lives of many people. It also brought the government to closer to the people through Izimbizo and partnerships with local community radio stations. From April 2024 on, the newspaper will only be available online, but its articles will still be useful to everyone in South Africa. We have also partnered with SABC 2 on the 13-part series Citizens Connect in an attempt to educat
e more citizens.

The value of accurate information

All of these online platforms let people to easily get reliable information directly from the government about their lives, our country, and the world we live in. Reliable information is essential to make democracy work. The opposite is equally true: inaccurate information, often a result of fake news, can be dangerous to democracy, especially during big national events such as elections.

As the seventh national and provincial elections get closer, people are being warned to be careful of fake news online, especially since new technologies make it hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

With the rise of deep fake content, fake content can seem credible. Dishonest people use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make fake videos, pictures, and audio recordings of other people. Public figures, such as our political leaders, are often the targets of these attacks.

Be vigilant at all times

Government urges every citizen to be wary of falling victim
to fake news. Pay close attention to face features and lip movements that don’t match up on videos because that can be a sign of deep fake content. If in doubt, verify the information you receive via trustworthy information sources (such as government platforms). That’s how you can learn the truth and make smart decisions about your future.

If you use social media and websites as sources of information, make sure that they are real. It’s easy to miss fake accounts or profiles because their names sound a lot like real ones. So, double-check the writing of the profiles and websites you follow.

Every South African needs to make sure that the news they spread comes from reliable sources. Let’s all stay alert all times to avoid being duped by fake news. Let’s all play our part to make our democracy strong. Let’s fight disinformation.

*Zanele Mngadi is Chief Director: Products and Platforms at the GCIS

Source: South African Government News Agency

R22 million for KZN spaza shops and general dealers

A total of R22 million has been allocated to support South African spaza shop owners, supermarkets, and general dealers in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zimele Traders Fund by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation was announced by Economic Development, Tou…


A total of R22 million has been allocated to support South African spaza shop owners, supermarkets, and general dealers in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zimele Traders Fund by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation was announced by Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Siboniso Duma, on Tuesday.

Duma said spaza shop owners, including supermarkets and general dealers in the province, who are strictly South Africans can apply for a grant in the form of trading stock to the value of R20 000.

‘A total of R10 million has been set aside for this purpose. We are targeting 500 spaza shops across the province,’ Duma said.

This follows an announcement made towards the end of last year, where the MEC revealed the department’s intention to embark on an entrepreneurship revolution, focusing on spaza shops located in rural areas and the townships.

Ithala SOC limited and Ithala Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), which are the department entities, are deepening support for entrepreneurs in the infor
mal economy.

Spaza shop owners have long complained about being forced out of the market because they lack the buying power, while their competitors, who are mostly foreigners, buy in bulk which makes them have a competitive edge.

The MEC said the department has reconfigured the bulk buying warehouse at KwaSithebe in Mandeni, with a cost of more than R15 million.

‘We have added a call centre and the online ordering system. The first bulk purchase stock for spaza shops, supermarkets and general dealers is valued at R10 million.

‘In addition, we have made available 17 trucks to move the stock across the province. This is to create direct access stock, reduce costs of goods and further make them accessible within local municipalities,’ Duma said.

As a permanent arrangement, the department is identifying buildings that are owned by Ithala across the province to be used as warehouses.

The MEC called on eligible spaza shop owners, supermarkets, and general dealers to submit their applications for the grant.

The applications opened on Tuesday, 20 February, and will close on 16 March 2024.

‘Successful applications will be announced on 15 April 2024. Applications will run indefinitely,’ he said.

Duma also announced that through the Zimele Fund, a total of about R11.9 million has been set aside for a soft loan of up to R100 000 at 2% interest for a co-operative and 4% fixed interest for a Close Corporation/ Pty.

For a quotation request, shop owners are requested to use the WhatsApp number 072 521 0897 or 031 319 5500 for enquiries.

Emails can be send to zimeletradersfund@kznedtea.gov.za/ Website: http://www.kznbulk-buying.co.za.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Teacher caught in possession of drugs at school

Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane has condemned an incident at a school in Ekurhuleni where a teacher was allegedly found in possession of drugs on school premises.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Gauteng Department of Education said the incide…


Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane has condemned an incident at a school in Ekurhuleni where a teacher was allegedly found in possession of drugs on school premises.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Gauteng Department of Education said the incident took place on 14 February 2024 at the Thoko Thaba Secondary School.

According to the department’s reports, the educator was allegedly found with a bag and box of drugs inside school premises.

Police were called in and the teacher was arrested. He appeared in court on Thursday, 15 February 2024.

MEC Chiloane said it is also concerning that this matter was not reported to the Department by the School Management Team (SMT) in a timely manner, which led to a planned protest by the community on Wednesday.

The department has launched an investigation, and the educator has been removed from the school as a precaution.

‘We are disappointed about this incident, and vehemently condemn such conduct and we will be acting against it accordingly. We also plead with the
community to allow this matter to be handled by the department and relevant law enforcement authorities for appropriate resolution,’ Chiloane said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

IEC welcomes announcement of 2024 Election Date

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa setting the 2024 National and Provincial Elections date for 29 May.

The President has, in line with section 17(2) of the Electoral act 73 of 199…


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa setting the 2024 National and Provincial Elections date for 29 May.

The President has, in line with section 17(2) of the Electoral act 73 of 1998, consulted with the IEC on the election date.

‘This pronouncement of the Election Date provides an unambiguous motivation for the Commission to pull out all the stops in the intensification of preparations for Election Day. The Electoral Commission reiterates its commitment and readiness to ensure a successful 2024 general elections,’ the Commission said in a statement.

Furthermore, the President convened a meeting with all nine provincial Premiers and the IEC to discuss the state of readiness for the General Elections.

‘It creates certainty for us. It creates certainty for those who want to participate as contestants, be they on party lists or as independent candidates,’ said IEC Deputy CEO, Masego Shiburi.

Shiburi said the President announced the date in
consultation with the Commission, as that is the statute requirement.

‘With each election, the number of competing parties increase. For these elections, we will also have independent candidates and their numbers are still indeterminate because candidate nomination is yet to open.

‘Once we finalise candidate nomination, we will be able to print ballots and make them available in our missions to those who will be voting abroad but mostly importantly, to those who will be voting in the country,’ Shiburi said.

The announcement of the Election Date comes after the successful voter registration campaign, which included two general registration weekends, an overseas voter registration drive, campus activations and registration within Correctional Services centres.

The 2024 Elections coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy.

President Ramaphosa has called on all eligible voters to fully participate in this important and historic milestone of the democratic calendar.

‘Beyond
the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination of the future that we all desire.

‘I call on all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote and for those who will be campaigning to do so peacefully, within the full observance of the law. We also urge unregistered voters to use the online registration platform to register,’ President Ramaphosa said.

According to the IEC, more than 27 million South Africans are registered to vote and 14 million others remain unregistered but are eligible to do so.

The Electoral Commission has reminded South Africans that while the Election Date has been set and announced, eligible voters have until Friday, 23 February 2024 to register. The latter date is the anticipated day of the proclamation of the Election Date.

Unregistered voters and those who need to update their address details can visit their local municipality office, the Electoral Commission or go to the o
nline voter registration portal, registertovote.elections.org.za or reach the chat bot on 0600 88 00 00 WhatsApp line.

Election Timetable

Following the proclamation of the Election Date, the Electoral Commission will publish the Election Timetable in the Government Gazette after consultation with the National Party Liaison Committee.

The Election Timetable will outline the various cut-off dates for the performance of certain electoral activities. The timetable will include the following:

– Certification of the voters’ roll.

– Publication of details of voting stations.

– Submission of candidates nomination.

– Submission of notice to vote outside of the country.

– Applications for special votes .

Meanwhile, the Commission has reminded eligible voters of the general rule in elections. That is, a person must register where they live and vote at the voting station where they are registered.

‘The only exception to the rule is that a voter may vote outside of the voting district of registration upon notify
ing the Electoral Commission by a date to be regulated by the Election Timetable,’ the Commission said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Comments sought on draft tax bills and global minimum tax bills

National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) have called for comments on the 2024 Draft Rates Bill (2024 Draft Rates Bill), 2024 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, Draft Global Minimum Tax Bill, and the Draft Global Minimum Tax Admin…


National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) have called for comments on the 2024 Draft Rates Bill (2024 Draft Rates Bill), 2024 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, Draft Global Minimum Tax Bill, and the Draft Global Minimum Tax Administration Bill.

The four draft bills were published in the government gazette on Wednesday for public comment.

‘The 2024 Draft Rates Bill contains announcements made in Chapter 4 and Annexure C of the 2024 Budget Review that deal with the increase of excise duties. The 2024 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill is aimed largely at clarifying the existing language and to simplify the directives system for both administrators and SARS to allow for the efficient implementation of the ‘two-pot’ retirement reform,’ Treasury said.

The department said the Draft Global Minimum Tax Bill is aimed at implementing the GloBE Model Rules in South Africa to enable the country to impose a multinational top-up tax at a rate of 15% on the profits of in-scope multinational enterpris
e groups.

‘The Draft Global Minimum Tax Administration Bill is aimed at the administration of the Draft Global Minimum Tax Bill,’ the department explained.

After receipt of written comments, Treasury and SARS will engage with stakeholders through public workshops to discuss the written comments on the draft bills.

‘The Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF) and the Select Committee on Finance (SeCoF) in Parliament are expected to make a similar call later this year for public comment and convene public hearings on the draft bills before their formal introduction in Parliament.

‘Thereafter, a response document on the comments received will be presented at the parliamentary committee meetings, after which the draft bills will then be revised, taking into account public comments and recommendations made during committee hearings, before they are tabled formally in Parliament for consideration,’ the department said.

The 2024 Draft Rates Bill, 2024 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, Draft Global Minimum Tax Bil
l and Draft Global Minimum Tax Administration Bill can be found on the National Enquiries: Communications Unit Email: media@treasury.gov.za, Tel: (012) 315 5046 Treasury (www.treasury.gov.za) and SARS (www.sars.gov.za) websites.

More general information underlying the draft legislation can be found in the 2024 Budget Review, available on the National Treasury website.

‘The 2024 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and 2024 Draft Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, which contain the remaining tax proposals announced in the 2024 Budget Review, will be released for public comment later in the year,’ the department said.

Written comments should be forwarded to the National Treasury’s tax policy depository at 2024AnnexCProp@treasury.gov.za, and SARS at acollins@sars.gov.za by the close of business on 31 March 2024.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA tax revenue collection declines

With weak performance by South Africa’s economy resulting in a sharp deterioration in tax revenue collection for 2023/24, government has proposed tax measures to alleviate immediate fiscal pressure and support faster debt stabilisation.

Delivering th…


With weak performance by South Africa’s economy resulting in a sharp deterioration in tax revenue collection for 2023/24, government has proposed tax measures to alleviate immediate fiscal pressure and support faster debt stabilisation.

Delivering the 2024 National Budget Speech, the last Budget Speech of the sixth administration, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said at R1.73 trillion, tax revenue for 2023/24 is R56.1 billion lower than estimated in the 2023 Budget.

‘The shortfall is largely due to the decline in corporate profits and revenue from taxes on mining. Over the medium term, revenue projections are R45.6 billion higher than the 2023 MTBPS estimates, which increased personal income tax and additional medium term revenue proposals.

‘This budget contains tax measures that will raise R15 billion in 2024/25 to alleviate immediate fiscal pressure and support faster debt stabilisation. Revenue is mostly raised through personal income tax by not adjusting the tax brackets, rebates and medical tax cred
it for inflation,’ the Minister said.

For alcohol products excise duties, above-inflation increases of between 6.7 and 7.2% for 2024/25 are proposed. This means:

A can of beer increases by 14 cents;

A can of a cider and alcoholic fruit beverage goes up by 14 cents;

A bottle of wine will cost an extra 28 cents;

A bottle of fortified wine will cost an extra 47 cents;

A bottle of sparkling wine will cost an extra 89 cents; and

A bottle of spirits, including whisky, gin or vodka, increases by R5.53.

National Treasury also proposed to increase tobacco excise duties by 4.7% for cigarettes and cigarette tobacco, and by 8.2% for pipe tobacco and cigars.

This translates to:

A R9.51 cents increase for cigars;

A 97 cents increase to a pack of cigarettes; and

An extra 57 cents for a pipe of tobacco.

In addition, the Minister tabled an increase of the excise duty on electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems, known as vapes, to R3.04 per millilitre.

‘On environmental taxes, the carbon tax increase
d from R159 to R190 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent as of 1 January 2024. The carbon fuel levy will increase to 11 cents per litre for petrol and 14 cents per litre for diesel effective from 3 April 2024.

‘A discussion paper outlining proposals for the second phase of the carbon tax will be published for public comment later in the year. Madam Speaker, we are mindful of the already high cost of living and the impact fuel prices have on food and transport costs.

‘In this regard, we are proposing no increases to the general fuel levy for 2024/25. This will result in tax relief of around R4 billion. This is money back in the pockets of consumers,’ the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA, Denmark continue to strengthen relations

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) continues its concerted efforts to strengthen international relations and ensure safe and reliable water.

In an effort to build good new relations that will ultimately benefit citizens of South Africa, Wat…


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) continues its concerted efforts to strengthen international relations and ensure safe and reliable water.

In an effort to build good new relations that will ultimately benefit citizens of South Africa, Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu has welcomed the new Denmark Ambassador to South Africa, Elsebeth Sondergaard Krone and new Water and Research Counsellor, Tine Anbæk.

Krone’s career as a diplomat spans over 20 years of experience in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She has held several positions, including Head of Department for Green Diplomacy and Climate, Head of Global Cooperation at the Danish Energy Agency, and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Denmark in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In her new role, Krone is responsible for promoting and strengthening relations between Denmark and South Africa. She will also work to increase cooperation in political affairs, economic development, climate change, and renewable energy.

Welcoming Krone during
a meeting held in Waterkloof, Pretoria this week, Mchunu noted that the relationship between the department and Denmark, has grown over the years.

‘I can already tell that with you at the helm, it will grow even stronger. We have a lot more work to do regarding water, and part of my main focus is water infrastructure, constructing, refurbishing, and maintaining.

‘We also want to attract investment to meet our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). I hope that this introduction will allow us to explore other programmes and to intensify working relations well past Phase 3,” Mchunu said.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the SDGs which were adopted by the United Nations in 2015, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Krone echoed the Minister’s sentiments, emphasising the importance of ensuring that the programmes and goals align.

“It is important to have a continuous dialogue on technical day-to-d
ay running of programmes, as well as long-term relations between the two countries. It is paramount to keep each other in the loop and to do things that will have an impact,” Krone said.

Cooperation

Last year, the department and Denmark entered into another agreement of cooperation in innovation and management of water services.

The DWS, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Higher Education and Science (MHES), the Department of Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through their Danish Embassy, signed a three-year agreement for Phase 3 of the collaboration on behalf of the Republic of South Africa and Denmark’s Strategic Sector Cooperation (SSC).

Phase 3 aims to further strengthen long-term relations between the department and Denmark’s MHES and Science and Innovation.

The agreement will run from May 2023 to April 2026 and consists of five parts, including Water Services Management, Groundwater, Water Efficiency in Industries, Research and Innovation, and a Project Sup
port Facility focusing on investment planning and financing for water-related projects.

Source: South African Government News Agency

NHI receives R1 billion allocation

The health sector is expected to receive an allocation of R848 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework with at least R1 billion directed to the National Health Insurance (NHI).

This was announced by Minister Enoch Godongwana during the 202…


The health sector is expected to receive an allocation of R848 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework with at least R1 billion directed to the National Health Insurance (NHI).

This was announced by Minister Enoch Godongwana during the 2024 Budget Speech on Thursday.

‘These allocations include R11.6 billion to address the 2023 wage agreement, R27.3 billion for infrastructure, and R1.4 billion for the NHI grant over the same period.

‘The allocation for the NHI is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to this policy. There remain a range of system-strengthening activities, that are key enablers of an improved public health care system, that must be undertaken,’ Godongwana said.

He said these activities include:

Building a national health information system and digital patient records;

Upgrading health facilities and improving quality of care to ensure that they meet the minimum criteria to be certified and accredited for contracting under NHI;

Strengthening facility and district manag
ement in preparation for contracting;

Granting semi-autonomous status for central (and potentially other) hospitals; and

Developing reference prices and provider payment methods for hospitals.

In the 2024 Budget Review, National Treasury noted that the budget for the sector is expected to grow slower than inflation over the MTEF ‘due to the R23.7 billion baseline reductions over the medium term’.

‘The function will prioritise greater efficiency, better management of commuted overtime and intensified promotion of preventative care. Spending reviews in the sector have led to some savings in vaccine and antiretroviral tenders. The health sector continues to recover from service disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in antiretroviral treatment and tuberculosis screening and treatment.

‘The Department of Health and its provincial counterparts will prioritise building tertiary services like oncology through earmarked funds in the national tertiary services grant in provinces with inadequate se
rvices. This grant grows by 8.8% in 2024/25 as funding is shifted into it from the oncology portion of the national health insurance conditional grant,’ Treasury said.

Education Sector

Turning to education, he said the sector will receive some R25.7 billion ‘carry-through costs of the wage increase over the medium term’.

‘At the same time, we were able to protect the budgets of critical programmes such as the school nutrition programme. The programme provides food to pupils in almost 20 000 schools.

‘The early childhood development grant is allocated R1.6 billion rising to R2 billion over the medium term,’ he said.

Firm eye

Government is expected to keep a firm eye on value for money as consolidated government spending is expected to reach R2.37 trillion in 2024/25, R2.47 trillion in 2025/26 and R2.6 trillion in 2026/27.

This is according to the National Treasury’s 2024 Budget Review.

‘Government’s priority is to enhance spending quality and minimise inefficiency while ensuring sustainable public fina
nces – in other words, to increase the value for money from this spending,’ the department said.

The bulk of the 2024/25 budget will go to basic and tertiary education, peace and security.

‘While R69.4 billion is added to this function for the carry-through costs of the 2023 public-service wage agreement over the medium term, there are baseline reductions of R49.8 billion in other areas. Improved efficiency in the procurement of learner-teacher support materials and in the management of the placement of educators will continue.

‘Spending in the post-school education and training sector grows by 2.5% over the medium term. Spending in the sector education and training authorities and the National Skills Fund grows by 3.9% over the medium term, allowing the institutions to improve the quality of their offerings,’ Treasury said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Economic growth to stay low over the next three years

South Africa’s economy is expected to grow at some 1.6% over the next three years, with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching 0.6% in 2023.

‘Despite the improved global outlook for 2024, South Africa’s near-term growth remains hamstrung by lower…


South Africa’s economy is expected to grow at some 1.6% over the next three years, with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching 0.6% in 2023.

‘Despite the improved global outlook for 2024, South Africa’s near-term growth remains hamstrung by lower commodity prices and structural constraints. We estimate real GDP growth of 0.6% in 2023. This is [revised] down from 0.8% growth estimated during the 2023 MTBPS [Medium Term Budget Policy Statement].

‘The revision is due to weaker-than-expected outcomes in the third quarter of 2023, particularly in household consumption and fixed investment,’ said Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, who delivered the Budget Speech at the Cape Town City Hall on Wednesday.

Godongwana said despite this, between 2024 and 2026, growth is projected to average 1.6%.

‘The growth outlook is supported by the expected easing of power cuts as new energy projects begin production, and as lower inflation supports household consumption and credit extension.

‘But, there are also risks to th
e domestic outlook. These include persistent constraints in electricity supply, freight rail and ports, and a high sovereign credit risk. Our challenge… is that the size of the pie is not growing fast enough to meet our developmental needs,’ he said.

National Treasury’s 2024 Budget Review explained that load shedding and challenges in freight rail and the ports ‘continue to disrupt economic activity and limit the country’s export potential’.

‘Comprehensive reforms are underway in these sectors, although it will take time to see a recovery in growth. Household consumption is under pressure from high living costs, and investment remains low due to weak confidence and challenging business conditions linked to structural constraints.

‘To turn the tide and raise economic growth sustainably, government is prioritising energy and logistics reforms, along with measures to arrest the decline in state capacity.

‘Successful efforts to improve the fiscal position, complete structural reforms and bolster the capacity
of the State will, in combination, reduce borrowing costs, raise confidence, increase investment and employment, and accelerate economic growth,’ National Treasury said.

The department said as reforms begin to bear fruit, GDP will be on the rise.

‘[This] as the frequency of power cuts declines, lower inflation supports household consumption, and employment and credit extension recover gradually. New energy projects will improve fixed investment and business sentiment.

‘To accelerate GDP growth after an extended period of weak economic performance, South Africa needs large-scale private investment. Government is working to improve the fiscal position, complete structural reforms and bolster the capacity of the State to reduce borrowing costs, raise confidence, increase investment and put the economy on a higher, job-creating growth path,’ Treasury said.

Meanwhile, global growth is forecast higher at some 3.1% for 2024 and 3.2% for 2025.

‘The moderate improvement is due to better-than-expected growth in th
e second half of 2023, particularly in the United States and several large emerging market economies, as well as fiscal support for disaster relief in China.

‘Robust US economic growth has partially offset weaker-than-expected outcomes in the Euro area, which, nevertheless, is expected to recover gradually. Commodity prices are expected to continue to decline in 2024 and 2025,’ Treasury said.

Source: South African Government News Agency