- President Cyril Ramaphosa has given his economic cluster ministers two weeks to formulate a plan to deal with the skyrocketing cost of living
- The president ruled out any form of tax or levy cut to alleviate economic pressure
- Ramaphosa said his administration was limited in the action it could take because of the pressure on the budget
President Cyril Ramaphosa has given his economic cluster ministers two weeks to formulate a plan to deal with the skyrocketing cost of living which is threatening to cripple millions of already stretched South African households.
Ramaphosa was quick to point out that while he had asked his ministers to present him with a plan which could see more products included in the non-VAT bracket, his government was limited in the action it could take.
Ramaphosa ruled out cutting any taxes (such as VAT) or levies (such as the general fuel or Road Accident Fund) because this would put additional pressure on the already thinly stretched national budget.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the euphoria around Ramaphosa’s ascent to power in February there has been very little to cheer about since then. The South African economy has been stalled thanks to a series of crippling fuel price increases.
These fuel increases which have gone to new-record highs for two months in a row coupled with an increase in the VAT rate has raised the cost of basic foods and goods and thus the cost of living in the country.
Ramaphosa’s own African National Congress (ANC) party and its alliance partners the South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU have called on his administration to take bold steps to address the rising cost of living.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Ramaphosa to decrease or at the very least freeze the fuel levy and to increase South Africa’s strategic oil reserves. The DA called for a Parliamentary discussion to find a compromise around the fuel levy.
EWN.co.za reported that Ramaphosa secured another $10 billion in foreign investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the next five years.
This means Ramaphosa has made a significant dent of $20 billion in his self-proclaimed goal of securing $100 million in direct foreign investment in South Africa on his four-day tour of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Ramaphosa feels the best way to restart the stalled South African economy in a way which will benefit more South Africans is by securing direct foreign investment in the private sector.
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