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The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) has welcomed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech.

“Naptosa wishes to commend Minister Gigaba for delivering an inclusive and progressive budget for the financial year 2018/19 in view of the economic challenges that South Africa is enduring‚” the union said in a statement.

The union said it supports the outlined interventions and measures mentioned by Gigaba to improve governance of state-owned entities.

“Naptosa welcomes government plans to implement effective management systems‚ and we look forward to seeing speedy action in this regard; not just another case of hot air to appease the public.”

The union said it has also noted Gigaba’s motivation for the one percentage point increase in VAT and amendments to below-inflation personal tax increases as “difficult but necessary trade-offs in order to educate the youth and continue to protect the vulnerable”.

“Naptosa welcomes the R57 billion allocation towards first-year students’ higher education costs. We have a responsibility to ensure that logistical implementation and the use of taxpayers’ monies is transparent and honest.”

“While Naptosa accepts the statement by Minister Gigaba that future generations should not be burdened by current government overspending and inefficiency in correcting itself for the benefit of the poor and most vulnerable‚ he ignored the fact that the VAT and fuel levy increases will impact them nonetheless.

“Naptosa is pleased at measures to budget R21.7 billion towards feeding our learners. We hope that some of the R3.8 billion allocated to school infrastructure will not only make a difference to those 550 schools whose water and sanitation challenges will finally be solved‚ but that deliberate and serious attention is given to the safe transportation of our learners to and from school.”

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