Item 1289 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Special Inter- Governmental Forum on the Budget

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ZA COM MR-S-1289


Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Special Inter- Governmental Forum on the Budget


  • 1996-01-23 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Inter-Governmental Forum on the Budget

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  • English

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Deputy President Mbeki and Deputy President De Klerk;
Provincial Premiers;
Provincial MECs for Finance;

We have taken the liberty of calling this meeting because we felt it was important to exchange views on the financial and budget challenges that face us in 1996.

Two aspects of our transition in particular favourably impress investors and potential investors, whether they be domestic or international: Firstly our peaceful transition to democracy and economic potential; and secondly, our commitment to fiscal discipline.

However, where fiscal discipline is concerned, we are starting to run into problems. In a moment, I am going to ask Minister Liebenberg to give national government's view of how the budget for 1995/96 is likely to look, and to share with you our expectations for the 1996197 budget. Those expectations need to be seen within the context of two important economic realities.

South Africa is at a stage in its development when foreign capital inflows are needed in order achieve sustainable economic growth. We need sustainable growth to meet RDP objectives, especially to get to the point where unemployment starts to decline on a substantial scale. It is therefore essential that we attract as much investment as possible.

This requires not only the kind of political stability which we have achieved, but also a growing economy, based on sound fundamentals, such as the rational utilisation of the scarce resources at the government's disposal, including, in particular, a declining budget deficit.

Reducing a budget deficit demands a rigorous and often difficult and painful exercise in financial control. It means cutting out non-essentials, eliminating duplication and becoming more efficient in our operations. In particular, it means ensuring that we use our scarce resources to maximum effect in promoting our most important objectives.

The goal of creating a more efficient government sets us the challenge of ensuring a smaller, restructured public service; a service managed in a manner that empowers and motivates it to fulfil its obligations to the people.

The second economic reality is that of reprioritising our objectives and thus government expenditure at all levels.

It is essential if we are to discharge the mandate which the people of South Africa have given the government, to ensure that the resources of the nation are used, above everything else, to bring real and lasting improvement in the lives of all South Africans, and with as little delay as possible. However, this requires firm financial control in that one is forced to stop certain expenditures, and start others, within the overall affordable limits of a declining deficit.

With more than half the expenditure taking place in the provinces, you, like the Cabinet, have a vital leadership role to play in the realisation of these objectives.

One of the outcomes I am looking for from this meeting is agreement on how we can work together to attain what we all agree is a fundamental requirement for our nation to succeed. We have called this special smaller Inter- Governmental Forum precisely because we view the issues in such a serious light.

We must meet our financial targets. We owe this to those who elected us, and who entrusted us with the task of improving their quality of life.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 25/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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