By Chris Campbell, CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA)
In response to National Treasury’s call for cost containment measures to close the fiscal gap, as alluded to in the Sunday Times and several other media publications, while CESA understands the need for fiscal responsibility, we are concerned about the potential implications of such proposed measures.
Although National Treasury may not explicitly have used the term “austerity,” it is clear that these measures are effectively serving that purpose. National Treasury has imposed a freeze on new recruitment, which could have far-reaching consequences, especially in sectors such as healthcare and local government, where there is already a shortage of critical personnel. It is in fact critical to address these shortages to ensure the proper functioning of essential services.
Additionally, the freeze on all new infrastructure projects raises questions about its wisdom, especially during challenging economic times. Investing in infrastructure even during economic downturns plays a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth and development.
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