Column: How does the budget speech affect the youth?


Patson Malisa gives us the rundown of this year’s budget speech from a youth perspective.

Patson Malisa, President at Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth)

The Finance Minister delivered a budget speech which gave highlight to key issues facing the country’s economy, and further expanded on the key measures being put in place to ensure that government weathers the storm and remains afloat in the process. Having cited the unpleasant realities of the slow economic growth both locally and globally, the budget brought more cushioning to the government departments and functions to ensure maintenance of the core functions of public administration. The reality however, is that in order to achieve the radical economic transformation which is evangelised at this time of the year, a different appropriation is to be provided for in the budget. This appropriation is to be investment in the youth.

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Industrial revolutions and redistribution of wealth in a sustainable manner is attained in an environment where innovation is rewarded and there is room made for the increase of people with disposable income. This therefore means that instead of speaking towards redistribution and reallocation, the focus should be on developing the underdeveloped and expanding the scope of industrial activity. Redistribution simply cuts the cake into smaller pieces and thus results in more hungry people. This is most evident in the tertiary system of our country; where because the demand overpowers the supply, the fees are simply unbearable for the majority of citizens. Thus the turmoil that is hurting our generation.

The expansion of the aforementioned issue, along with the opening up of new channels of industry, are capital intensive endeavours. This is money that government may not have within immediate reach, but it does possess it within the forming of a good relationship with the private sector; from which tax incentives could be awarded for companies and entities that invest more towards doing business in the country and investing in the expansion of the tertiary institution capacity of the country.

This could lead to open channels for trade with emerging entities under the guidance of the Small Business Department and the Department of Trade and Industry’s initiative for example. This could also be an opportunity for youth of the country to also be provided with a better chance at obtaining an education along with an apprenticeship which amounts to adequate experience for a decent job upon leaving university. Economic growth must be matched with increase in the country’s knowledge capacity.

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The core matter, of the concerting effort between the state and the private sector to answer the economic challenges facing our nation is still left unanswered within the policy and legislative framework currently enforced by government. We as youth and leaders of civil society may have to initiate the first steps towards a remedy to this issue. After all, the people to account for freedom’s fruits or deficits at the 50th anniversary of our democratic dispensation are today’s youth. This ought to be enough reason for all of us to take responsibility to achieve sustainable growth and development.

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