UP Library Services and EMS Faculty Library host 2024 Budget Speech discussion

Posted on March 25, 2024

The University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) Department of Library Services (DLS) and the Faculty of Economics and Management Science’s (EMS’s) Faculty Library recently hosted a discussion on the 2024 National Budget Speech, at the Merensky 2 Library Auditorium at UP’s Hatfield Campus.

The event was opened by Anna Siwela, Deputy Director for Academic Support at the DLS, who was followed by speakers from inside and outside the University, and ended with a panel discussion.

Siwela emphasised the significance of the occasion and said the gathering was the second DLS event focused on this year’s Budget Speech. “I want to underscore the multifaceted role of the DLS, not only in bolstering the research, teaching, and learning endeavours of the University, but also in arming the University community with the requisite tools to navigate the complicated day-to-day challenges,” she said, adding that the event was aimed at enriching attendees’ financial and economic literacy.

In his Budget Speech on 21 February, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana projected that growth would average 1.6% between 2024 and 2026, supported by the easing of power cuts and inflation rates. But he cautioned that “there are also risks to the domestic outlook. These include persistent constraints in electricity supply, freight rail and ports, and a high sovereign credit risk.”

Professor Elda du Toit, a Chartered Global Management Accountant from the Department of Financial Management, was the first speaker. Outside academia, she dedicates some of her free time to helping individuals to manage their personal finances. Prof du Toit provided an overview of the Budget Speech, highlighting key changes and important information. She also discussed the implications of the budget on South Africa, focusing on personal finance and strategies for navigating the current economy. These included tips such as saving money, reducing debt, and learning more about budgeting. She suggested websites that offer free lessons on these topics, described the government's ‘two-pot’ system, and advised against borrowing from retirement funds, emphasising the importance of financial prudence in challenging economic times.

The second speaker was renowned economist Dawie Roodt, founder and Chief Economist of the Efficient Group, who has over 30 years of local and international experience. “With the elections around the corner, the 2024 Budget Speech was more of an election budget than telling it like it is,” he said. In his talk, he contested the feasibility of the Finance Minister’s growth projection due to ongoing challenges in the economy, such as energy supply constraints and a narrow tax base. In his opinion, South Africa’s economy has the potential to be fixed. “What has to happen is that we have to restore confidence in South Africa’s economic future. We have to clean up the place and get the right policies, commitment, and skilled people in place to run the country, which includes each one of us.”

The discussion was illuminating, engaging, robust, and challenged what people know about the current state of the nation. The event highlighted the Department of Library Services’ goal, which is focused on current events that encourage community building among the diverse members of the University community.

“Our mission is to foster an environment where learning extends beyond the traditional spaces and encourages critical thinking and discussion about real-world issues,” Siwela said. “The DLS will continue to serve as a hub for community engagement, collaboration and dialogue for the UP community.”

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences