The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) welcomes the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) tabled by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in Parliament today against the backdrop of a difficult domestic and international economic environment. In particular, we welcome the various proposals aimed at promoting inclusive economic growth and social transformation. The minister has reiterated the call he made in the Budget delivered in February 2016 inviting all sectors of South Africa to work together to tackle some of the pressing socio-economic challenges. The statement demonstrates a firm commitment to follow through on the priorities and objectives set out in the 2016 Budget, aimed at restoring public and investor confidence in our economy, ignite economic growth, strengthen and secure South Africa’s fiscal position and public finances.
The challenges facing our country are immense, they include the need to find a lasting solution to the funding of higher education, igniting economic growth and creating employment, reducing poverty as well as addressing inequality. The minister and his team have, once again, demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of these issues, and tabled a statement that responds to these challenges while implementing measures to keep public finances under control.
Our members are fully aware of the need to go beyond their day-to-day banking activities and work strategically with other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to these challenges. In this regard, BASA members participate actively in the CEO initiative which focuses among others on measures to avert a credit rating downgrade, increasing infrastructure investment, establishment of an SME fund, and contributing to addressing employment by creating 1million internship opportunities funded by the private sector over the next 3 years.
BASA members are also supporting the ministerial task team led by Sizwe Nxasana to find a solution to the higher education funding crisis. In addition, our members are contributing to the National Education Collaboration Framework (NECT) aimed at addressing challenges in the basic education sector; they are engaging ministries responsible for rural development and land reform, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and human settlements, among others in support of the goals of the National Development Plan proposals in these sectors.
We are committed to working with government, unions and other social partners in efforts to find lasting solutions to our challenges. We are stronger together.
Issued for and on behalf of the Banking Association South Africa
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Note to Editors:
The Banking Association South Africa
The role of The Banking Association is to facilitate the enablement of a conducive banking environment through robust engagement with government and relevant stakeholders. A critical role of The Banking Association is to work with its members to enable this role within the context of the transformation challenges prevailing in South Africa. For more on The Banking Association South Africa visit – www.banking.org.za