Tax revenues marginally more resilient than anticipated

By Janice Roberts

Pravin Gordhan

Between the 2015 and 2016 budgets, projected tax revenue for 2015/16 was revised down by R12 billion. However, tax revenues have been marginally more resilient than government had anticipated.

This is the word from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.  He was addressing a briefing in Pretoria today.

Gross tax revenue for the fiscal year came in at R1 069.9 billion or R0.2 billion more than the February estimate.

“This is a remarkable achievement that we attribute to the hard work and dedication of 14 500 staff compliment of SARS,” Gordhan said.

“Initial indications are that the revised deficit as published in the 2016 Budget Review is broadly achievable,” he added.

The minister said it was clear that the global economy is not going to be helpful over the next few years.

“We need to redouble our efforts to increase policy certainty, catalyse entrepreneurship, innovation and the joint experience of the private sector and the public sector so we can grow this economy.

“We will need to explore the opportunities that the continent offers. Notwithstanding today’s revenue outcome, the growth expectation of 0.9 per cent for 2016 is not nearly enough to generate the kind of revenue that enables us to fund all of government’s programmes.

“Our focus on fiscal commitment should remain. We cannot spend money we do not have. We cannot borrow beyond our ability to repay. Until we can ignite growth and generate more revenue, we have to be tough on ourselves.”

Gordon said SA needed to inculcate a culture of efficiency in its approach to spending.

“We will do everything possible to cut wastage, control expenditure, seek value-for-money and combat corruption where it is found. I would like to thank the staff at SARS and the National Treasury for the work that they have done.

“Given the tough economic environment we are in, this revenue outcome is a great achievement. We have built one of the most effective tax authorities in the developing world that has made huge strides over the past decade in enforcing the law.

“Our focus must also be to maintain that.”

Gorman thanked the taxpayers “who have contributed their fair share to ensure that government has the resources it needs to make a difference in the lives of South Africans.”



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