Once again, South Africa still views the job creation aspect of society as being the most fundamental. It has been noted that we are still experiencing about 35% unemployment, and in the youth category, anything up to 50% unemployment.
It was heartening to see Minister Gordhan mention the youth wage subsidy, and the fact that certain monies have been set aside for this. Despite the politics, it looks like we are going to have some sort of youth wage subsidy, which might generate more employment in the age group below 35 years.
The budget clearly shows how the damaging strikes both in the mining and the agricultural industries have affected the tax collection. The most powerful industry in South Africa today, the mining industry, has taken a severe knock, causing us to lose billions of Rands of income. The government does not seem to have taken the strikes seriously, but maybe now that they have noticed the effect on the income tax, it might be a wake-up call for everyone concerned. The true ramifications of the agricultural industry strikes will only be seen in the next budget, but we might see some of that mentioned in the provincial government speech to be given by Provincial Finance Minister Alan Winde.
Watch this space for Minister Winde’s speech tomorrow, Thursday 7th March 2013. The budget speech is at 14h00 and will have enormous ramifications in the Western Cape.