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‘Start budget from scratch’

Finance minister Tito Mboweni says SA can’t afford what it used to and needs to reimagine ways to allocate government spending.
Treasury says it will be able to table the supplementary budget on June 24. Image: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has called for the government to “seriously consider” adopting zero-based budgeting. 

Mboweni was providing closing remarks in the National Assembly Appropriation Bill debate on Friday. 

Reflecting on the state of public finances since he came into office in 2018, Mboweni told members of Parliament that what has been increasingly clear is the fact that the country needs to “adapt with changing circumstances”.

“When we thought we were rich we would do things in a particular way; we are no longer as rich as we used to think we were and therefore we have to adapt to the new situation,” said Mboweni. 

Mboweni said the new situation calls for “zero-based budgeting” —  a process of wiping the financial slate clean and drafting the national budget from scratch, where funding is allocated based on programme efficiency and necessity as opposed to budget history. 

When implemented successfully the process could result in great savings and release departments from established methodologies. 

Since the February budget, Mboweni said there have been dramatic changes to the assumptions that were previously made about economic performance, with the country being in a recession and tax revenues declining sharply. 

“In other words, [we have to] refocus our energy on the things that we can do, reflect our energies on the growth-enhancing activities and no longer take for granted that the baseline that was there last year will always be the case going forward,” said Mboweni. 

The Appropriation Bill based on the February 2020 budget was passed by the National Assembly, with 230 votes in favour and 130 votes against. 

It will now move to the National Council of Provinces for consideration, as part of all the processes that need to be completed before Mboweni tables the supplementary budget that takes into account the disruption caused by Covid-19. 

Mboweni said the zero-based budgeting approach would directly complement the district development model put in place by President Cyril Ramaphosa, intended to streamline planning and spending across the three spheres of government in order to improve oversight on projects and service delivery. 

Mboweni said the issues that members of Parliament had raised in the debate would be dealt with in the supplementary budget that Treasury will be ready to table on  June 24.

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Nice idea in theory, just like all other ideas they will stay exactly that. ANC does not have the ability to enforce anything save where it kills off a free market system and economy. RSA Inc. and her economy is deader than disco. I am genuinely surprised that Mboweni hasn’t been discarded like Nene was; Nene put his hand up when that galactically stupid and corrupt zuma wanted to put his and his illegal immigrant buddies’ hands in the cookie jar. Mboweni is telling some uncomfortable truths; if I were him I would start brushing up my Linked-In profile and CV for the almost inevitable knife in the back AND push off the cliff. Thus said Tito : Kai su teknon?

Our government can save a lot money if they grant one or two licences to electricity-generating companies. Those companies can absorb some of Eskom workers while securing energy for the future. Eskom can no longer handle the job alone.

Probably the only minister that is not in denial about what is going to happen to tax collections. Millions have become unemployed, hundreds of thousands of businesses will go bust, and many of these two groups will then drop out of the tax system entirely, if they ever get going again.

You hope..

Unfortunately punting dagga as some saving grace for SA is a fatal indicator against expecting clarity of thoughts..

Now the minister could not shrink gov wage bill yet, why will he now be able to do that in his “new start” budget?

Time to cut the spending. It’s as simple as that.

Cut salaries, handouts to SOE’s, social Grant’s, largess handed to Municipalities.


They HAVE to cut expenditure : Its as simple as that : and this nonsense of spending like crazy at year end so as not to “lose” the Budget is insanity : Give it to me : I guarantee a min cut in expenses of 30% without impact on deliverables (with no political interference ) :
Unfortunately its all about politics : Therin lies the problem.

Minister Tito Mboweni .

You are an exception to the rule in the South African Government system. We appreciate your efforts and mindful thinking in these difficult times

If I had a choice , I would have appointed you as the CEO of South Africa and change the system from political ” actors ” to a structure that takes accountability for it actions .

Thank you for your wisdom and we look forward to co-operate with you in these times.

With you.. we will be stronger.

Where do you buy the happy pills?

Here is the thing, you can’t tell us the masses that there is no money when by just looking at you we can see that it is there.

I grew up and frequent Soweto. I see top government employees week in week out living lavish lifestyles. Some are actually former employees but even they enjoy lavish lifestyles. They, like the minister of finances might of course have gathered these gains from private businesses who gave them shares as kickbacks but fact is, if you deprive departments that allow the layman to afford food and transport we will have a problem.

Municipal managers salaries cannot increase on the basis that their jobs are risky while we reduce budgets for electricity that they oversee. They cannot change cars every 3 years while we cut the number of nurses in the local clinic.

FW De Klerk in 1994 during the pre-election debate with Rholihlahla Mandela told the ANC that they cannot build houses by just cutting top government officials salaries. Well I think he was wrong. It can make a dent today.

1. He does have a point – ZBB will get rid of the waste aka cadres
2. It will never happen…

Imagine that: governments that spend within their means…. It will not work because there are already too many people collecting social grants. Without those grants where do the votes come from? The only way to keep their power is to print money and run up deficits into oblivion. There will be no budget cuts in reality, only on paper.

I see a vision of something “evil” in the article image, with the Fin.Min holding up that POT….and that facial expression…

…it is in fact SA’s “retirement funds” pot he’s holding up! 🙁

(R4trn will go a looooong way….)

I want to awaken from this ‘dream’. In the hope it’s not real.

Well duh! Wake up Tito!
Open the casino’s, restaurants,pubs,taverns,hairdressers, cigarette sales,gyms,parks,etc etc.Let SA start to do business as usual.

International airlines.

We are like the the household where:
– The R450000.00 house is mortgaged for R550000.00;
– The kids (the ANC minsters) are spending like they are on the film set of the Kardashians;
– The wife (the corrupt cadres) is stealing the money from the household for things like extensions, porches and bling;
– The eldest son is smoking the title deed (read freedom charter) with Zol;
– The neighbors (the opposition) have called the NPA for multiple criminal offences being patently committed by the house;
– The leader of the household (the father / the Pres) does not have the backbone to tell the household to get into line;
– The maid (the people) has not been paid for many months.

Eish, its not good.

End of comments.





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