MTBPS23 – Reform agenda will be in focus in Budget 2024

By Alec Hoog

“As National Treasury has highlighted for several years, lifting the economy’s growth potential requires substantial structural reforms, as well as steps to reduce near-term risks and increase government efficiency.” – MTBPS documentation

The ANC will be laying some reformist cards on the table ahead of the watershed 2024 National Election. MTBPS documentation discloses that there are “opportunities for deeper reforms” which will be tabled in February. 

There are three prongs to this action that will be disclosed as part of the ‘reconfiguring of the State’ in the 2024 Budget: 

  • Scaling down outdated and unproductive public sector programmes and entities.
  • A new mechanism to fund large infrastructure projects by ‘crowding in’ finance from the private sector and international finance institutions. The intention is to enable co-investment with the state in selected projects.
  • The introduction of new fiscal anchors to ‘ensure a sustainablke long-term path for public finances.”

Treasury documentation also states that the framework on public-private partnerships has been reviewed and concrete recommendations delivered. Amendments to Treasury regulations and municipal legislation will be announced in Budget 2024.  

Also scheduled for February is action following the Treasury’s three year spending review with the result leading to the consolidation of government departments and other entities. A dedicated technical team has been created to facilitate implementation.

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana will also have another go at the introducing a ceiling on government spending to “anchor” the Budget. This is a repeat of ceiling introduced in 2012, which never worked because, we are now told, it was not binding. Presumably Godongwana will find a way to avoid that obvious deficiency next year.

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