EDITORIAL | Throw the outdated baggage overboard, ANC, and all our boats will float
If the party put its differences aside and traded ideology for growth, there would be less need for crisis management
Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s announcement of a R36.2bn relief package after the recent looting and destruction of property has been broadly welcomed as a necessary stopgap to help those who lost livelihoods to the unrest and those who lost jobs and income due to Covid-19 measures that have affected the economy. Inevitably, when a government in a democracy is seen to be dispensing largesse, two questions arise: how will the assistance be funded and what, if any, are the political motives behind the move?
The first question is relatively straightforward: according to Mboweni and Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter, a rebound in mining especially produced a tax windfall the government was fortunate to have in the bag at the right time, and for that we can all be grateful. Once again there will be some reprioritising of government departments’ budgets, but the lion’s share at R27bn will go towards the reinstatement of the R350 social relief grant introduced during the initial Covid-19 lockdown last year. No extra borrowing will be necessary. That said, it hardly needs to be pointed out that the money could equally have gone towards helping to lighten our crushing sovereign debt.
The monthly grant, available until March next year, will go some way towards easing the burden on those who have suffered, and will continue to endure hardship, after the recent unrest...