South Africa's economy projected to grow in 2013
Cape Town, Feb 28 : Despite the troubled world economic outlook, South Africa's economy is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year, rising to 3.8 percent in 2015, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said.
South Africa's economy has continued to grow, but at a slower rate than projected in last year's Budget Speech, Gordhan said Wednesday while presenting the 2013 budget speech in the National Assembly, reported Xinhua.
The country's economic growth reached 2.5 percent last year. South Africa continues to experience growth and has weathered continuing global economic uncertainty with a stable fiscus, the minister said.
He said the year of 2013 will witness a moderate inflation as last year, with consumer prices projected to increase by an average of 5.5 percent a year over the next three years.
Referring to a revenue shortfall of over 16 billion rand (about $1.8 billion) last year, Gordhan blamed the economic turbulence the country experienced in the second half of last year.
But he said the budget deficit will fall from 5.2 percent of GDP in 2012-13 to 4.6 percent in 2013-14 and 3.1 percent in 2015-16.
He said the widening of South Africa's balance of payments could be partly attributed to the disruption of activity in the mining sector and the drop in mining exports because of lower demand.
Gordhan said the government was taking several steps to improve revenue and spending. These include carrying out a review of expenditure, focusing on both spending and controls in government programs and agencies, the initiation of a tax review later this year and a competitiveness enhancement program introduced in last year's budget.
The 2013 budget, which stands at 1.06 trillion rand (about $120 billion), focused on growth and employment creation, prioritizing improvements in education and training and by promoting progress towards a more equal society.