Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Nov 2021
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2021
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Watch video here: Medium Term Budget Policy Statement
The House met at 14:01.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, before we proceed with today’s business, I wish to announce that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly due to the passing of Mr C MacKenzie has been filled by the nomination of Dr N V Khumalo with effect from 9 September 2021. The member has made and subscribed the oath in the Speaker’s Office. I welcome you, hon member.
Lastly, in the interest of safety of all present in the Chamber, please keep your masks on and sit in your designated areas. I thank you. The secretary will read the First to the Fourth Orders together.
MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
RATES AND MONETARY AMOUNTS AND AMENDMENT OF REVENUE LAWS BILL
TAXATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President David Mabuza, Cabinet colleagues, members of the executive committees for finance in the various provinces, the Governor of the SA Reserve Bank, the Commissioner of the SA Revenue Service,
Sars, hon members, I am honoured to table the following documents before this House: The 2021 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, the 2021 Adjustments Appropriation Bill, the 2021 Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill, the 2021 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, the 2021 Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, the Revised Fiscal Framework, the 2021 Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure and the 2021 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.
Madam Speaker, we are tabling the 2021 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, under unprecedented conditions. The COVID–19 crisis has caused severe disruptions to economies the world over. It has forced governments to pay even greater attention to the task of saving lives and preserving livelihoods.
In addition to the high cost to human life, the crisis is likely to leave deep and long-lasting scars on the global economy and on human lives. The scarring impact of the crisis is evident in increased debt levels and income vulnerabilities, while unemployment, poverty and inequality is deepening. This is a crisis like no other.
Almost four months ago, in certain parts of our country, we witnessed disturbing incidents of violence and the destruction of property never seen in postapartheid South Africa. Once again, lives were lost and people’s livelihoods were taken away. Infrastructure was destroyed, investor confidence was battered and our economic prospects were dealt a severe blow.
These incidents expose the fragility of South Africa’s social, economic and political compact. They remind us of the ease with which the plight of the poor and unemployed can be exploited to achieve political ends.
I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the resilience of the people of South Africa during these hard and trying times. We are a resilient and dynamic people. On many occasions, when faced with extreme difficulties, we have always managed to emerge even stronger.
On the 1st of this month, our country held its sixth democratic local government elections. Once again, our people responded to the Freedom Charter’s clarion call that, “The people shall govern” and that, “No government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people”. I think we must respect that decision. I told somebody else that
I was told and taught in the movement that the strategic path of the national liberation movement is the transfer of power to the people, not to the ANC. The transfer of power to the people. We have become an instrument. We are fortunate that the people of South Africa have, for almost three decades, elected us to be the instrument to exercise that power on their behalf. That is a privilege we should respect, and I’m quite convinced that, despite the setbacks we have had, our people continue to support the ANC. That’s why we said ... [Interjections.] No, I have said that they understand that, “No government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people”. It’s an important event.
Madam Speaker, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery is continuing. However, high and more persistent inflation, as well as the outlook for commodity prices, have brought with them the uncertainty about medium-term global ... long-term economic growth.
The global economy is projected to grow at 5,9% in 2021 and 4,9% in 2022. Advanced economies are expected to return to pre-pandemic expectations for growth in 2022, while emerging markets and developing economies are expected to remain below
pre-pandemic projections. Notably, growth has recovered faster than employment.
In the first half of 2021, the South African economy recovered more quickly than expected, reflecting less stringent COVID-19 restrictions, along with lower interest rates, support from strong international demand and higher commodity prices. We now expect the South African economy to grow by 5,1% in 2021, from a 6,4% contraction in 2024. Over the next three years, the growth of the local economy is expected to average 1,7%, reflecting some structural weaknesses, such as inadequate electricity supply.
Madam Speaker, the strength of South Africa’s economic recovery will also depend on the roll-out of vaccines. A higher uptake of vaccines will reduce the risk of future waves of the pandemic and associated disruptions to economic activity. Therefore, the speed and scale of vaccination is of essence. There should be no room for hesitancy.
THE 2021 MTBPS CORE MESSAGE
Madam Speaker, this year marks the 25th MTBPS to be tabled in this House. We have indeed come a long way in improving the transparency and credibility of our budget processes.
The 2021 MTBPS is about navigating South Africa’s path to economic and social recovery, drawing on the resilience of her people, as well as restoring the sustainability of our public finances and the dignity of our people in the face of a once- in-a-lifetime pandemic.
The MTBPS charts a course that demonstrates government’s unflinching commitment to fiscal sustainability, enabling long-term growth by narrowing the budget deficit and stabilising debt.
Critical to the fiscal path we have chosen is the need to be clear and unambiguous on the trade-offs we are willing to make as a nation. We cannot do everything we want at the same time.
Equally important is the faster implementation of structural reforms to unlock greater private-sector investment, economic growth and job creation.
A fast-growing economy will allow for greater revenue collection, making it impossible for more comprehensive responses to the challenges we face.
Madam Speaker, considering the economic outlook and the risks associated with it, it is critical that we accelerate economic reforms for long-run growth. These reforms should focus on improving competitiveness, productivity, investment and employment. In this regard, our first and immediate task must be to ensure stable energy supply, reduce the risk of load- shedding and accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources.
All of our efforts over the past 13 years have been to fix Eskom instead of securing supply by adding additional capacity to the grid. We have already made significant progress in correcting this. The amendment of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, has raised the licensing threshold from one megawatt to about 100 megawatts. It has also made it possible for private power generators to sell directly to customers. This will alleviate the risk of power cuts. The amended regulations will further enable
municipalities to self-generate or procure power directly from independent power producers.
We have also begun to reduce our reliance on Eskom by diversifying our primary energy sources. The gains from this diversification are demonstrated by the outcome of the most recent round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme.
The 25 projects that are part of the latest round of Bid Window 5 will generate more than 2 500 megawatts of power at a weighted average price of 47,3 cents per kilowatt hour. This is the cheapest rate achieved in the history of the programme and is among the lowest rates ever achieved worldwide. Over the long term, creating a competitive energy market will help contain the costs of generating electricity and support GDP growth.
The second set of reforms we must continue to focus on are about improving the efficiency of South Africa’s logistics framework to support economic growth. In this regard, government has announced the corporatisation of the Transnet National Ports Authority as an independent subsidiary of Transnet, and appointed an interim board. This will create an
incentive for efficiency and competitiveness between port service providers, reduce delays, improve services and introduce cost discipline.
Transnet Freight Rail will allow third-party access to the freight rail network by the end of 2022. Allowing private rail operators to use the freight rail network will bolster system volume and capacity.
The third area is the speedy resolution of issues blocking the release of high demand spectrum and making affordable data available to firms and households. I am aware that a lot of work is being done to overcome obstacles to the release of spectrum. The majority of the problems we are facing in this regard are not of government’s creation. The problem is largely the litigation between the parties and ... therefore delaying progress in this regard. We would probably appeal to the affected parties to find an amicable solution as soon as possible. Madam Speaker, we must ensure the completion of digital migration by March 2022. This is crucial to enable the full use of additional spectrum that will be auctioned.
Fourthly, to boost tourism and attract skills, the now completed e-visa system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022.
Fifthly, in the water sector, legislative drafting and financial modelling have been done to establish a National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency, responsible for improving the management of bulk water resources. The Department of Water and Sanitation is fast-tracking its application process to ensure that the 90-day target for issuing single-use water licenses will be implemented by March 2022 as part of improving the ease of doing business.
Madam Speaker, this package of reforms demonstrates government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for the growth and development of our economy.
In addition, we must remove the regulatory burden on small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and co-operatives. In this regard, we will investigate different forms of support, even for township, inner city and rural enterprises. I must make the point that, particularly in areas such as the Bantustans, we have a lot of factory space that was created during the Bantustans ... where they talk about Dimbaza, Fort
Jackson, Isithebe, QwaQwa, Babelegi ... all those areas. We need to make sure that we create a conducive ... investment
... that those areas must be revived. That is going to require some part of incentive support from government.
Also of importance is the need to strive for policy coherence and policy certainty across government. We must also continue to strengthen the capacity of the state to implement policy and intervene in the economy in a manner that enhances and does not inhibit growth.
Madam Speaker, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan identifies infrastructure development as a critical component of changing our economic fortunes. In total, 62 priority infrastructure projects were gazetted last year. An additional
55 new projects from various sectors valued at around
R595 billion, with a funding gap of around R441 billion, were recently unveiled. Therefore, we will need partnerships with the private sector to fill this funding gap.
The Infrastructure Fund is an important intervention towards our strategic goal of ensuring that total investment in public infrastructure is nearly 30% of gross fiscal ... from capital
formation by 2030, as envisioned in the National Development Plan.
We will maintain our commitment to the fund, including allocating R100 billion over the decade from 2019-20, as committed to in the previous Budget. Further work is being done to unlock more infrastructure projects for execution.
There is a strong collaboration with government departments and other institutions such as Infrastructure SA and the Development Bank of Southern Africa to prepare for projects with an investment value of R84,5 billion in the telecommunications, water and sanitation, as well as transport sectors.
Madam Speaker, the facilitation of trade across our borders is an important enabler of economic activity, especially as we are implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement. Across our continent, infrastructure is underdeveloped and systems are outdated, resulting in inefficiencies and long delays. This also breeds criminality.
Last week, I visited the Beitbridge border post with the Commissioner of Sars and the director-general to assess first-
hand the operational challenges at that port of entry. Beitbridge typically processes around 900 commercial vehicles and 25 000 travelers per day during peak periods. It simply cannot cope. It is estimated that the economic cost of the inefficiencies at Beitbridge just to South Africa, amounts to several billions of rand per year.
We must act with speed to improve the infrastructure and modernise the customs systems at all our ports. This will contribute significantly towards greater revenue collection, trade facilitation and border protection.
Madam Speaker, let me reiterate that government cannot drive economic recovery and growth alone because most areas of economic activity are dominated by the private sector, including investment, employment and innovation. In this, we strongly call on a greater social compact to raise growth and improve livelihoods.
FISCAL POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
Madam Speaker, following the global financial crisis of 2008, South Africa adopted a countercyclical fiscal policy. This means that as the economy underperformed, government increased its deficit to counter the impact of the crisis. We spent more
than we received in tax revenues on a consistent basis. This, together with the composition of spending, did not meaningfully increase growth. Instead of getting higher growth from fiscal expansion, our debt continued to rise.
The stock of debt ... R4 trillion in debt that we now owe is incurring debt service costs that will become the largest portion of spending, compared to individual functions, from next year. These debt service costs are not discretionary. In other words, we cannot avoid paying them. Their effect, therefore, is to crowd out other spending priorities.
Debt service costs are expected to rise from R269,2 billion in 2021-22 — that’s the next financial year — to about
R365,8 billion in 2024-25. This is higher than the Health and Police Service budgets.
Nevertheless, there have been some positive developments on the fiscal side. Tax collections have exceeded expectations in the short term. Revenue for 2021-22 is now estimated to reach R1,5 trillion, compared to R1,4 trillion at the time of the 2021 Budget in February. This is an upward revision of about R120 billion. The consolidated budget deficit is expected to
be 7,8% of GDP in 2021-22, gradually lowering to 4,9% in 2024-
Taxes paid by the mining sector have been strong due to the commodity price rally which continued through the first half of 2021. Minister Mantashe boasted the other day and said, no, I’m feeding you guys these days because of what is happening in mining. So, the mining sector has been doing well. it has given us sufficient revenue. About 85% of that R120 billion is from the mining sector.
Notably, however, precious metal prices have started to soften. This means that the revenue gains from the commodity price rally are expected to be temporary. Therefore, we should be careful about our spending commitments. You will recall what I said earlier on. Due to the temporal nature of that revenue, you can’t commit to long-term projects. You have to commit to short-term projects. We should not make permanent spending commitments from short-term revenue benefits. This approach is embedded in our Fiscal Framework.
We are of the view that revenue can be increased with a more effective and efficient revenue collection authority. In this regard, Sars has already started to utilise the additional
funding that we provided to them in the 2021 Budget, by hiring skilled tax and customs auditors and data scientists to boost compliance and collections, as well as accelerate modernisation.
Madam Speaker, the additional revenue due to the commodity price rally created space for government to provide additional support for poverty and employment programmes this year, without negatively impacting the fiscal position. Following on from the fiscal response last year, government has provided an additional R48,9 billion in fiscal support due to the unrest that took place in July and the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. This includes R37,9 billion in direct fiscal support. We are now making an additional R11 billion available to the SA Special Risk Insurance Association, which is called Sasria, to enable them to continue settling legitimate claims from businesses damaged during the unrest.
The criminal activities we witnessed during the unrest reminds us that crime continues to be a blight on our society. It undermines confidence in our recovery and hinders our long- term economic development. To strengthen the fight against crime, we have allocated additional funding to the SA National
Defence Force and the Police Service. All South Africans deserve to be safe. We must not fail in this.
Madam Speaker, the MTBPS is also about continuing our country’s response to COVID-19, and its resultant economic and social impacts, by providing additional short-term support where needed. This year, we are increasing noninterest spending by R59,4 billion.
The revised 2021-22 Fiscal Framework includes R3 billion in the contingency reserve for additional vaccine purchases and R11 billion as a provincial allocation, as I said, to Sasria for risk coverage in the wake of the unrest in July.
Aside from allocations in the Special Appropriation Bill I tabled in August — there was a Special Appropriation Bill that we tabled in August — most of the adjustments of R20,5 billion are to cater for the higher-than-budgeted public sector wage agreement.
Mthembu, uyababona aba bantu baqhankqalaza apha phandle? Bafuna imali yabo. Nantsiya ke.
MEDIUM-TERM SPENDING PLANS
Madam Speaker and hon members, our budget over the next three years is focused on service delivery and is highly redistributive. You know, I was asked by a journalist in the press conference if this Budget is pro-poor. I told this journalist, answer me this question. If 60% of noninterest spending is on the social wage, what does that mean? When people say this Budget is not pro-poor, they must answer that question.
Consolidated government spending is expected to increase from R2,1 trillion to R2,24 trillion over the three years. Put differently, government will spend more than R6,4 trillion over the next three years.
A key concern of government is the huge unemployment challenge we face as a country. South Africa continues to grapple with long-run unemployment and in the current conditions unemployment is lagging ... the economic recovery. Government recognises that we need more private-sector jobs, driven by a strong and growing investment climate.
At the same time, the state must play a role in mitigating the impact of this crisis. I must repeat this. Government must play an important role in mitigating the impact of this crisis. We have never said that should not happen.
Accordingly, the 2022 Budget will allocate almost R74 billion towards public employment programmes over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. In addition, further opportunities will be explored for supporting employment through other means.
Government will also maintain its commitment to support fee- free higher education. In this regard, funding for fee-free higher education and training has been increased. In 2020-21, government spent R44,7 billion in this function. This has been increased to R56,8 billion in the current year. Over the 2022 MTEF, funding for higher education will total R158,8 billion.
THE SOCIAL RELIEF OF DISTRESS GRANT
Hon members, as you are aware, the current social relief of distress grant is coming to an end in March. Let me emphasise this ...
... abantu bathi nguNondyebo nam, hayi akunjalo. Niyasisukela madoda. [Kwahlekwa.]
This government said it is extending it up to the end of March
... ngurhulumente otshiloyo ...
... up to the end of March.
UNondyebo yena usathe cwaka, zole tu. Abanye bayaxhentsa apha phandle bathi uthe uNondyebo iyaphela. Hayi akunjalo, ngurhulumente othe uza kuyandisa ukuya kuthi ga ekupheleni kwenyanga yoKwindla. Kwalo rhulumente ...
... will decide. This government will decide whether to extend it or not to extend it.
Yekani uNondyebo ahlale yedwa. Mabatsalele umnxeba kurhulumente. Yhooo, abasasithuki phandl’apha, kukhalwa ngoNondyebo.
The Budget is a decision of the government, not of Treasury.
Nangoku, njengokuba ndime apha, ndinelunda kuba bendiye phaya kwiKhabhinethi. Iye yaphefumla nayo.
The grant has benefitted about 9,5 million South Africans. This is over and above the existing social security grants. Today, 27,8 million South Africans are social grant recipients of one ... or another. This accounts for about 46% of our population. At the same time, the number of people working has declined, further underlining the critical flaws in our economy.
Our total spending on the social wage is also very high. This amount has grown from R860 billion in 2018-19 to R1,1 trillion in 2021-22. That’s about 60% of total noninterest spending annually which goes towards housing development, free basic
services, employment programmes, and so on and so on. [Interjections.] It goes to that. So, as I said earlier, about 60% of noninterest spending goes annually to housing development, free basic services, employment programmes, health, education and social grants, among other things.
Overall, the South African government is acknowledged as having one of the most comprehensive and expansive social security systems in the world and there are ongoing discussions about the social safety net. Details on our interventions with regard to the social security net will be provided in the February 2022 Budget.
N diyavakala? Ndithi, lo mbuzo umbuzwa ngabantu ezitalatweni uya kuphendulwa ngurhulumente kodwa ndakuyithetha ngenyanga yoMdumba. Bafuna ngoku ndiphendule lingekafiki ixesha lalonto. Ndiza kuphendula ngenyanga yoMdumba ...
... after the government has pronounced on this matter. However, let me reiterate that a permanent solution in responding to these challenges is to achieve high and sustained levels of economic growth.
RESTRUCTURING OF STATE-OWNED COMPANIES
Madam Speaker, state-owned companies, SOCs, are intended to be important enablers of economic development. However, many SOCs have been badly managed and have failed to deliver. In many instances they have also been devastated by state capture, making them increasingly reliant on government. Since 2013 for instance, government has directed more than R290 billion to bail out SOCs, at the expense of important social expenditure. Going forward, the restructuring of SOCs, informed by an assessment of their strategic relevance, is a priority.
In this MTBPS, no additional funding is provided for SOCs. The exception to this is where guarantees have been called by creditors and conditions have been met by the SOC in question, within the context of their strategic importance. I was asked by a journalist what this means. I said, no, this is tough love. Tough love. We have got to love and support these institutions but not ... laissez-faire ... At some point we need to draw a line and say ...
... hayi ndoda anisebenzi kakuhle.
Tough love. We must be prepared to consolidate some of our state-owned entities and let go of those that are no longer considered strategically relevant.
Before getting to retirement reforms ... when I took over the
... I was appointed, Mr President, I got a couple of calls, I suspect, from teachers.
Ungasilibali, uMboweni ebesesithembisile mntakwethu, ungasirhoxisi isithembiso sikaMboweni.
So, I am answering that question now, but not in full. With regard to retirement reforms, we are proposing measures to boost household savings by increasing preservation before retirement and to increase flexibility through partial access to retirement funds through what we call a two-pot system. In terms of this system, individuals would be able to access contributions to one of the pots, while contributions to the other pot would be saved until retirement. These measures would require legislative changes and further consultation.
Limited withdrawals would also depend on affordability and the liquidity of the fund.
National Treasury will shortly publish a discussion document on the details of this proposal, to obtain inputs before further announcements are made in the February 2022 Budget. The reason it has to be made in February 2022 is because we will have to pass it together with the tax legislation. We will have to pass legislation to give effect to it.
DIVISION OF REVENUE
To ensure the equitable allocation of resources to provinces in response to the need to strengthen service delivery, the health component of the Provincial Equitable Share has been revised and will be implemented from the 2022-23 financial year.
Meanwhile, provinces will receive almost R2 trillion in transfers over the next MTEF, which starts from the next financial year. These allocations are made to maintain our commitment to the delivery of education, health and other social services to our people.
Madam Speaker, local government remains at the coalface of service delivery. It is the sphere of government closest to our people. Over the 2022 MTEF, municipalities will receive more than R450 billion from the national fiscus.
Our immediate task is to build a capable and stable local government that delivers services effectively and efficiently. The 2022 Budget will give details on the steps we are taking in this regard.
Currently, there are 43 municipalities countrywide which are in financial crisis, with another 100 municipalities at risk of similar crises. To deal with the 43 municipalities already in crisis, I have specified the expected course of action to be taken by all premiers, provincial executives and MECs in ensuring that the problems in these municipalities are dealt with in a more sustainable manner. This is in line with national government’s commitment to ensuring sound fiscal management and greater fiscal responsibility in the local government sphere.
Let me take this opportunity to call upon the newly elected councillors to work hard to improve the state of their
municipalities and to co-operate with the support initiatives of provincial and national government.
For our growth and recovery agenda to succeed, we need a state that is capable and well governed, and a society that is free of crime and corruption.
Within government, there continues to be inefficiencies in government expenditure due to corruption, wastage and various other forms of maladministration.
One critical part of our reform agenda is in the procurement system. I am therefore delighted to announce that we are reaching the final stage of the finalisation of the Public Procurement Bill. We anticipate that this Bill will be tabled before Parliament early next year, in the financial year.
Madam Speaker, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, chaired by Deputy Justice Zondo, will soon present its report with its findings to the President. We look forward to swift action by the criminal justice institutions to prosecute those responsible for the damage caused by the state capture project.
For our part, we are working with all the relevant authorities and financial sector regulators to address deficiencies in our system, and to sharpen our ability to deal more effectively and more speedily with all financial crimes.
BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES
In early 2020, we introduced a loan guarantee scheme which enabled commercial banks to support firms in distress as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This programme has been concluded. In its place we are considering a new business support measure to enable affected businesses to bounce back. This would be done by providing expanded funding options, broadening the types of financial institutions which can provide this function to include development finance institutions, DFI’s, and nonbanks. We are working closely with the SA Reserve Bank, the Banking Association and other stakeholders to finalise this proposal. Further details will be announced shortly.
RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Madam Speaker, in Glasgow in the UK, nations of the world gathered for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, which is called Cop 26.
Our climate change mitigation commitments are bold. However, we need globally co-ordinated initiatives to succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If we invest in the correct infrastructure for the future, we will be able to take advantage of opportunities to increase our trade with other countries.
We note and welcome promises for funding to support our transition to a low-carbon economy. We strongly welcome this commitment and will engage further on the details and obligations of all parties in this regard.
Madam Speaker, as I conclude, let me reflect on the key points we are making today.
This MTBPS is a call to action; a change to ourselves to once again renew the promise of a country that many fought for and have sacrificed much ... We must continue to focus on saving lives and livelihoods. Between now and February 2022, we will be working on the details of measures to deal with the socioeconomic challenges we face, especially the crises of unemployment and poverty. This must be done in a manner that does not depart from the strategy of stabilising government
debt. Recommendations in this regard will of course depend on the availability of resources, including policy tradeoffs and reprioritisation.
We reiterate that the key to resolving our development challenges is the need to push ahead with the structural reforms necessary to unlock the growth of our economy. These reforms include bringing additional electricity capacity into the grid, in addition to fixing Eskom.
Hon members, the task of growing our economy requires that we work together as South Africans, single-minded in our understanding that working alone none of us can achieve the desired results.
Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the President and Deputy President for their leadership and guidance during these difficult times.
I also want to express my appreciation to Deputy Minister David Masondo for his support. The Treasury staff, led by Director-General Mogajane, continues to undertake their tasks with dedication and I express my thanks to them.
My sincere thanks also goes to the Commissioner of Sars, Mr Edward Kieswetter and the hardworking team of Sars.
Many thanks to Governor number 10 of the SA Reserve Bank, Governor Lesetja Kganyago and the staff of the bank for their work and support.
Let me also thank my colleagues in the Ministers’ Committee on the Budget and in the Budget Council, who have shared the load of the tough decisions that have been made in the current climate. Similarly, to the parliamentary committees on Finance and Appropriations, whose impressive record of processing the Bills we table ... in an unblemished ... even as we have come to them more often than not in the past, since last year.
Finally, I also want to thank my family. I have had difficult times over the past few months, including ... my wife of course ... [Inaudible.]
To the millions of South Africans whose resilience and courage during these times of the pandemic and economic difficulties are an inspiration to all of us, we have the privilege of serving in the public sector. I thank you.
The SPEAKER: Order! I thank the hon the Minister. The papers tabled by the Minister will be referred to the relevant committees. [Interjections.] Order hon members! Today we received the news of the passing on of Mr De Klerk and at the appropriate time Parliament will have the honour ... [Interjections.] ... will have the honour of paying tribute. [Interjections.] At this point, this concludes the business for the day and the House is adjourned. I thank you, hon members.
The House adjourned at 14:52.