News24

2017-02-23 18:22

(File)

(File)

Johannesburg – The ANC Women’s League has slammed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech as being “incoherent” with President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

It has also accused Gordhan of treating banks implicated in rand hedging with soft gloves.

League spokesperson Meokgo Matuba has warned that if the “incoherence” trickles down to other departments, it will amount to sabotage of Zuma’s plans for radical socio-economic transformation.

“Regrettably, there are incoherences between the SONA by the President and the Budget Speech by the minister and we are hoping that this incoherence will not trickle down to various departments who are responsible for implementation of government programmes.”

In a statement, Matuba accused Gordhan of treating banks implicated in rand manipulation by the Competition Commission with soft gloves and said this must stop with immediate effect.

“The speech was delivered a few days after the Competition Commission reported on massive corruption done by some of the banks. Very disappointing that the minister did not delve deeper into the corruption of the banking cartels and this will fit the narrative that the ANC-led government is lenient on fraud and corruption by corporates,” Matuba said.

The ANCWL has called for harsher punishment against the banks, including criminal charges to be laid against the boards and executives, that they be fined 100% of commission earned from the rand manipulation, and for government to stop doing business with the banks.

SARS praised

On Gordhan’s statement that three new banks, including Postbank, had been given provisional licences, Matuba said they wanted to know if any of the new entrants had 50% women ownership to address their call for economic emancipation of black women.

Despite Gordhan raising the alarm that the South African Revenue Services had failed to reach revenue collection targets for 2016-17 by R30.4bn, the league praised SARS commissioner Tom Moyane.

Matuba said, under his leadership, SARS has perfomed exceptionally well and should be applauded.

“The ANCWL applauds the ANC-led government with its good tax administration system implemented by (SARS).The appointment of capable leadership at SARS is yielding positive results,” Matuba said.

However, Matuba said they were also disappointed that there was no substantial increase on corporate tax.

On higher education, the league has called for the fees commission, looking into the feasibility of providing free higher education, to conclude its work and provide government with proposals to implement free higher education in 2018.

On other social issues it wants sanitary towels to be supplied to all girl learners from poor households that cannot afford them.

The league also decried what it called the “snail” implementation of the National Health Insurance and said it hoped there would be progress in 2017.