Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana is scheduled to give the Budget Vote tomorrow (21  February 2024), and there is much anticipation and speculation about what the budget will entail.

One of the most pressing issues that the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA) expects the government to address in this budget is the energy crisis, which has resulted in frequent load shedding and has had a significant impact on the economy and the daily lives of South African citizens.

Russel Morena, CEO of SAIGA, says that the energy crisis has affected businesses, jobs, and ultimately, the country’s overall economic growth. Therefore, he says it is crucial that the budget allocates sufficient resources and funding to address this issue.

In addition to the energy crisis, Morena believes there are various other challenges that the government must consider when preparing the budget. These include high unemployment rates, poverty, healthcare, education, and infrastructure development.

“The upcoming budget speech by the minister of finance holds a lot of importance for the citizens of South Africa. We are expecting measures and initiatives that will address the challenges of the struggling economy, high unemployment rates, and skills shortages. It is crucial for the minister to be realistic in his budget terms and to prioritise the needs of the citizens.”

Accountability and transparency in the implementation of these initiatives are also key factors that  SAIGA is looking for. “Our hope is that the minister’s speech will provide positive signs and initiatives that show the government’s commitment to addressing the issues in our country.

“If these expectations are not met, it will be a great disappointment to the citizens of South Africa. We hope that the budget will reflect a strategic and comprehensive approach to addressing these issues and promoting inclusive growth and development,” says Morena.

Morena says that it is essential that the budget allocations are aligned with the challenges faced by the citizens and are effectively managed and monitored to ensure that they are used efficiently and effectively.

“We also urge the government to prioritise the allocation of resources to address the energy crisis, while also ensuring that the budget reflects a comprehensive approach to promoting inclusive growth and development.

“We call for transparency and accountability in the budgeting process to ensure that the allocated resources are effectively managed and used to achieve the intended outcomes. We hope that the upcoming budget will proved accountability and will set a positive and strategic direction for addressing the country’s key challenges and help promote sustainable development for all South Africans.”