fbpx

Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Die 2021- nasionale begrotingsrede: ’n geleentheid om terug te keer na beste praktyk | 2021 National Budget Speech – an opportunity to return to best practice

English to follow:

22 Februarie 2021

Agri SA sien uit na die minister van finansies, Tito Mboweni, se nasionale begrotingsrede op 24 Februarie.

Die balans tussen staatsinkomste (belastinginkomste) en -uitgawes is sentraal tot die regering se begroting, sê Kulani Siweya, landbou-ekonoom van Agri SA. “Graderingsagentskappe en rolspelers in die finansiële mark sal ’n verbintenis tot fiskale konsolidasie wil sien. Die fiskus is onder druk en ’n verdere afgradering deur kredietagentskappe moet ten alle koste vermy word.”

Hierdie is ’n geleentheid om terug te keer na beste praktyk deur gebruik te maak van die regte instrumente om onnodige uitgawes sonder aansien des persoons te besnoei. “Terwyl fiskale konsolidasie noodsaaklik is, moet enige belastingverhogings geskied met inagneming van die huidige ekonomiese omgewing en die potensieel nadelige uitwerking daarvan op ekonomiese groei,” beklemtoon Siweya.

Die landboubedryf het homself bewys as ’n veerkragtige sektor wat, met behulp van die regering, die ekonomie kan herbou en fiskale stabiliteit kan verbeter. Van die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan (NDP) tot die meer onlangse Ekonomiese Herkonstruksie- en Herstelplan, is daar oorweldigende erkenning dat die landbousektor groeimoontlikhede bied en die potensiaal het om verdere werkgeleenthede vir landelike gemeenskappe te skep. Die sektor het ondanks talle uitdagings winsgewend gebly, dit moet beskerm word deur ‘n gesonde beleidsraamwerk en implementering daarvan, maar ook deur gebruik te maak van die kundigheid van kommersiële boere in die waardeketting.

“Minister Mboweni is onder ernstige druk om seker te maak dat Suid-Afrika se boeke klop,” sê Siweya. “Indien hy die ekonomie wil laat groei, is die landbousektor die sleutel.”

Agri SA hoop dat Mboweni aandag sal gee aan die volgende elemente in sy begrotingsrede:

  • Ondersteuning vir die Land Bank: Effektiewe en spoedige regstreekse hulp aan die bank is noodsaaklik. Om verdere agteruitgang van hierdie strategiese en sleutelinstelling te vermy, sal    ’n kontantinspuiting deur die Nasionale Tesourie die likiditeitsdruk tot ’n mate verlig. Kontant           alleen is egter nie die oplossing nie. Prestasievermoë van die bank is noodsaaklik om ’n    volhoubare trajek daar te stel. Dit bied ’n geleentheid vir ’n publiek-private vennootskap (PPP)          om hierdie doelwit te bereik.
  • Hervorming van die elektrisiteitsektor: Elektrisiteit is ’n sleutelproduksie-inset vir die landbou. Boere is prysnemers, dus het stygende elektrisiteitskoste ’n direkte uitwerking op hul       internasionale mededingendheid, aangesien hulle die toename in insetkoste moet absorbeer.     Hervorming van die elektrisiteitsektor is noodsaaklik om die huidige situasie van stygende        tariefkoste te midde van voorsieningsdruk en beurtkrag aan te spreek. Hervormings moet    geskied met inagneming van die volgende:

o          Voorsiening vir groter privaatsektordeelname in die elektrisiteitsbedryf, spesifiek om                     elektrisiteit vir landelike gebiede te genereer via laespanning- verspreidingsnetwerke. Dit                         sal Eskom in staat stel om voort te gaan met sy opwekkings- en transmissiefunksie,                                 terwyl die privaatsektor kan bydra tot gelokaliseerde kragopwekking om Eskom se                                   elektrisiteitsvoorraad aan te vul en sodoende te help om te voldoen aan die vraag na                               elektrisiteit en ook beurtkrag te vermy.

  • Grondhervorming en ondersteuning aan opkomende boere: Meer befondsing word benodig vir grondhervorming en ondersteuning aan opkomende boere. ’n Uitkoms-gegronde befondsingsbenadering, gekoppel aan tegniese ondersteuning en mentorskap, behoort deel te       vorm van sodanige benadering.
  • Agri-ontwikkelingsfonds: Befondsing en ondersteuning vir die daarstelling van ’n Agri- ontwikkelingsfonds wat gemengde finansiering en hulp vir die ontwikkeling van opkomende             boere kan bied.
  • Dieselkortingstelsel: Terugvoering oor die voorgestelde dieselkortingstelsel (skeiding van die dieselkorting- en BTW-stelsels) om aandag te gee aan die vertraging van prosessering en             betaling wat met die huidige stelsel ervaar word.
  • Ondersteuning tydens rampe: Toepaslike toewysing van fondse wat die impak wat onvoorsiene rampe op die sektor het, sal demp.
  • Padinfrastruktuur: Befondsing vir die doeltreffende instandhouding van pad- en logistieke infrastruktuur.
  • Planne om korrupsie en swak dienslewering aan te spreek: Swak-presterende munisipaliteite moet onder administrasie geplaas word om te verseker dat die beskikbare fondse doeltreffend bestuur word.
  • Beperking van oormatige verhogings in aksynsbelasting: Uitermatige verhoging van aksynsbelasting kan ’n nadelige invloed op die wyn- en tabakbedrywe hê.

Laastens hoop Agri SA dat die begrotingsrede ’n positiewe verbintenis insluit wat doeltreffend geïmplementeer sal word met die oog op ondersteuning van ekonomiese groei en beperking van die begrotingstekort.

Navrae

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA Landbou-ekonoom

******************************************

22 February 2021

Agri SA is looking forward to the minister of finance, Tito Mboweni’s National Budget Speech on February 24.

The balance between government income (tax revenue) and expenditure is at the heart of the government budget, says Kulani Siweya, Agri SA head of economics. “Rating agencies and financial market role players will want to see a commitment to fiscal consolidation. The fiscus is under severe strain and a further downgrade from credit agencies must be avoided at all cost.”

This is an opportunity to return to best practice, using the right instruments to cut unnecessary expenses without fear or favour. “Whilst fiscal consolidation is crucial, any tax increases would have to consider the current economic environment and the potential negative impact that higher taxes could have on growth,” Kulani urges.

Agriculture has shown that it is a resilient sector that, with assistance from government, can build the economy and increase fiscal stability. From the National Development Plan (NDP) to the more recent Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, there has been overwhelming recognition that the agricultural sector is a sector of growth and has potential to further create job opportunities for rural communities. The sector has remained profitable, despite all the challenges and this aspect should be safeguarded by sound policy framework and implementation thereof, but also leveraging from expertise of commercial farmers across the value chain.

“Minister Mboweni has a lot of pressure on him to make sure that South Africa’s books balance,” says Siweya. “If he wants to grow the economy, the agriculture sector is the key.”

Agri SA is hoping to hear the following elements in Mboweni’s speech:

  • Land Bank support: Effective and speedy direct assistance to the bank is imperative. To avoid further deterioration of this strategic and key institution, a cash injection by National Treasury will alleviate some liquidity pressure. Cash only is, however, not the only solution.  Capacitation of the institution is needed to set it on a sustainable trajectory. This is an opportunity for a public-private-partnership (PPP) to achieve this objective.
  • Electricity sector reform: Electricity is a key production input for agriculture. Farmers are             price-takes and rising electricity costs have a direct impact on our international competitiveness, where farmers must absorb rising input costs. Electricity sector reforms are necessary to resolve the current situation of rising tariffs amidst system supply constraints and load shedding. Reforms should consider the following:
    •            Allowing for greater private sector participation in the electricity sector, specifically to               generate electricity for local areas via the low voltage distribution networks. This would allow Eskom to continue its generation and transmission function, whilst allowing the private sector to contribute to localised generation that supports Eskom’s electricity supply, helping to meet demand and avoid load shedding.
  • Land reform and emerging farmer support: Increased funding for land reform and emerging farmer support is crucial. An outcomes-based funding approach tied to technical and mentoring             support should be part of the approach.
  • Agri Development Fund: Funding and support for the establishment of an Agri Development Fund that can leverage blended finance to support the development of emerging farmers.
  • Diesel rebate system: Feedback on the proposed diesel rebate system (separating the diesel rebate and VAT systems) to solve the processing and payment delays experienced with the             current system.
  • Support during disasters: Appropriate allocation of funds that will ensure cushioning from impact that unforeseen disasters have on the sector.
  • Road infrastructure: Allocating funding for effective implementation of road and logistics infrastructure maintenance.
  • Plans to deal with corruption and poor service delivery: Poorly performing municipalities should be placed under administration to ensure that the available funds are effectively   managed.
  • Limiting excessive increases to excise duties: Excessive increases to excise duties could have an adverse impact on the wine and tobacco industries.

Siweya concludes that Agri SA hopes that the budget will make positive commitments – which will be effectively implemented – towards limiting the budget deficit and supporting economic growth.

Enquiries

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA Agricultural Economist