Analyzing the RSA Budget Speech 2024: A Vision for Economic Resilience

CH Consulting |
29 February 2024

 As the economic tides ebb and flow, South Africa finds itself at the helm of fiscal planning again, with the 2024 Budget Speech outlining key strategies and forecasts for the years ahead. Delivered against economic uncertainty, the speech presented a nuanced perspective on various facets of the nation’s financial landscape.

Below, we have selected a few topics that stood out from the Finance Minister’s speech on Wednesday, 21 February 2024, and discuss what this means for the everyday South African.

Economic Growth

Despite a revision in forecasted economic growth, the National Treasury maintains a positive outlook, anticipating an average growth rate of 1.6% per annum over the 2024-2026 tax years. This optimism is anchored in expectations of reduced load-shedding and lower inflation, bolstering household consumption and credit extension.

Tax Revenue

Taxation remains the cornerstone of government income, constituting 83% of total revenue, whereas borrowing and non-tax revenue comprise 15% and 2%, respectively.

Personal Income Tax (PIT) 

Relief has been given in that the personal income brackets have not been directly adjusted, although, it is essential to recognise that should salaries increase parallel to the inflation adjustments, it could push individuals into higher tax brackets.

Consequently, those who were once below the threshold may rise above, leading to more taxes collected by SARS. The rebates, and the medical tax credits, have also remained consistent, for the first time in several years.

A summary of the tax brackets,  rebates, and medical tax credits for the 2025 tax year can be found below:  

Tax Brackets

Tax Rebates

Medical Tax Credits

Excise Tax

A notable highlight was increase in excise duties, particularly on alcohol and tobacco products. With hikes ranging from 6.7% to 7.2%, consumers can expect to pay more for these items, with specific increases outlined for various products.

Other Changes

While fuel levies remained unchanged, a carbon fuel levy hike was announced, signaling the government’s commitment to environmental initiatives. Additionally, speculation regarding a potential VAT increase proved unfounded, offering some relief to consumers.

Although the Treasury predicted to collect R56,1bn more than they did – there were high levels of optimism from the Minister of Finance. Mr. Enoch Godongwana offers no more bailouts to Transnet as he moves to reduce government debt.

The breakdown of the planned spending shows the most significant contribution towards social development at 16,3%. This can be seen in the increased amounts of social grants and the extended period in which COVID grants are to be allocated.

Looking ahead, stakeholders need to remain vigilant, adaptable, and engaged in shaping the trajectory of the nation’s economy. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and prudent financial management, South Africa can navigate the currents of change and emerge stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities.

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More to the point, we have the knowledge and experience of South Africa’s tax regime to navigate you through the complex business of filing taxes in pursuit of the best possible outcomes. You can rely on us for all of your tax and accounting needs. Contact us today.