Excerpts from Manuel’s Mid-term Budget Speech (Delivered yesterday)

On delivery of social services:

“In 1996, just over half our people did not have water in their homes. Today, over 88 per cent of people have access to piped water. In 1996, only 64 per cent of our people lived in formal houses. Today, over 70 per cent enjoy this right. In almost every area of public service delivery, from access to schooling and health care to refuse removal, from electrification to access to computers, from roads and street lights to sport facilities, from telecommunication services to access to public transport – we can point to steady progress in living standards.”

On economic growth:

“South Africa is now entering the ninth year of the longest economic upswing since the national accounts have been recorded. National income has risen by 22 per cent per person since 1999, with increases across all income groups. Employment is rising faster than at any point since the 1960s. Fixed investment has increased sharply since 2002, by over 10 per cent a year.”

On being cautious with respect to the present global economic upswing:

“We need to welcome and take advantage of the opportunities of global growth, but we also need to distinguish temporary prosperity from structural progress; we need to ensure that windfall gains are wisely invested and surplus resources are set aside for when markets turn against us in times ahead.”

On this week’s Standard Bank equity deal with China’s ICBC:

“Last week’s announcement of a R37 billion investment by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in one of our leading banks indicates that international confidence in our economy is high, and perhaps also signals a new place for Africa in the changing patterns of trade and finance flows of the 21st century.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *