Golding: Gigaba performed tight balancing act

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Pam Golding Property Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Golding, has commended the South African government, following the delivery of the Budget Speech on Wednesday afternoon.

Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, has been severely criticised in some quarters, with the accusation being made that his budget punished the poor. However, Golding was sympathetic towards the Minister, adding that he performed a delicate balancing act.

Golding is confident this budget will help inspire confidence in the South African economy again – in fact he thinks that it will.

“It is hoped it will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies,” said Golding on Wednesday.

Golding has been very optimistic about the property industry in 2018 and does not think there is anything in this budget that will curb his enthusiasm.

“Speaking from a property perspective, this is a market which is fuelled by sentiment, and as a consequence, a Budget which satisfies the above criteria – on the back of the election of President Ramaphosa – is expected to go a long way towards reaffirming investor confidence in real estate,” added Golding.

“South Africans continue to demonstrate an increasing appetite for home ownership which is to be encouraged as it helps provide security of tenure and financial security for the future.”

Property development is Golding’s game and he has chosen to view government’s proposal that some 195 000 government-owned properties, with an estimated value of over R40-billion, would either be better used or sold in the short to medium term, in a positive light.

The property mogul spots opportunity.

“While we await further detail, the commitment to drive both urban and township development and stimulate faster and more inclusive growth augurs well for infrastructural investment and the facilitation and expansion of economic hubs, especially along key transport corridors,” explained Golding.

“Also positive is the allocation of R6-billion for purposes which include drought relief and to augment public infrastructure investment.”

Gigaba’s tax plans have been subjected to considerable criticism, but Golding said this had been expected, adding that the industry had already planned for it.

“While the increase in VAT from 14 percent to 15 percent is unpalatable and erodes consumer disposable income – particularly among lower income earners – it was anticipated and is hoped will go a long way towards offsetting the Budget deficit. Welcome news for lower and middle-income earners is the adjustment of the bottom three personal income tax brackets for inflation.”

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