South African Govt Boosts Spending on Vaccination Programme

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The South African Government says more than 10 billion rand (0.68 billion dollars) will be set aside to procure vaccine in an effort to eradicate the Coronavirus in the next two years.

The country Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, made this known on Wednesday in Johannesburg, while delivering the budget speech for the year ahead before the parliament.

Mboweni said, “We are allocating more than R10 billion for the purchase and delivery of vaccines over the next two years.”

He also announced that more budget would be allocated toward the vaccine programme.

“We increase the contingency reserve from R5 billion to R12 billion to make provision for further purchase of vaccines, and to cater for other emergencies,” the minister said.

He said that as the government’s debt levels continued skyrocketing, the debt would be stabilised in the coming years.

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“Our borrowing requirement will remain well above 500 billion rand in each year of the medium term in spite of the modest improvements in our fiscal position,” the minister said.

He said, “Consequently, gross loan debt will increase from R3.95 trillion in the current fiscal year to R5.2 trillion in 2023-24.”

Mboweni said the economy was expected to improve and grow at 3.3 per cent in the current year after contracting by more than seven per cent in 2020.

Also, Jannie Rossouw, the Head of School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, said the projected economic growth was “realistic.”

Rossouw believed that the government’s plans to reduce its debt depended on the “control of the public servants’ wage bill”.

The state plans to cut the wage bill to reduce its spending in the next three years.

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