MboweniBL Premium reports that trade union federation Cosatu and the Democratic Alliance (DA) each said on Monday that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni needed to give financial backing for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic recovery and reconstruction plan with the national budget.

They were each outlining their expectations for Wednesday's budget in parliament. Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks emphasised the need for the budget to allocate sufficient resources to ensure the success of the economic recovery and reconstruction plan. “The heart of our crises is a stagnant economy. It needs to be helped to get back onto a growth trajectory,” Parks said in a statement, adding that the most sustainable way of reducing the budget deficit and drawing down the public debt was to implement policies that supported economic growth.  “The budget needs to indicate what is being done to increase impact investments by the private sector and to address regulatory obstacles to investments and economic growth. The rollout of the infrastructure programme must be sped up. Investments in energy generation, maintenance and expansion are critical to ensuring the economy can operate,” Parks indicated. However, Cosatu said it was strongly opposed to a wage freeze for public servants and wanted it lifted. “National Treasury needs to reduce the size of salary packages paid to politicians and senior managers. Government needs to stop wasteful expenditure that leaks about R150bn from the fiscus annually,” Parks said. The DA also stressed that growth was the only way to pull SA out of its fiscal crisis.

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