Restructuring state assets has so far yielded R7.7bn - Manuel
WOZA SA news <www.woza.co.za>
25 May 2000
Johannesburg (Reuters) - The government has so far received R7.7
billion from the restructuring of state assets, which was well above
expectations, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Thursday.
In a speech to parliament defending the government's Budget plans
unveiled in February, Manuel said that the restructuring proceeds
which the Exchequer had received so far was R3.7 billion more than the
amount budgeted for. He gave no time-frame.
The government plans to raise at least R40 billion over the next
four years from its restructuring programme, which has come under fire
from its trade union and communist allies, who say it has worsened
Manuel said that the investment grade rating which South Africa
received from US ratings agency Standard & Poor's last February
had led to a further reduction in debt service costs, making more
money available for development and reconstruction.
Debt service costs now stood at 5.5 percent of gross domestic
product, he said.
"For every one billion rand we don't borrow...we have R150
million more to spend on such things as education, on improving
healthcare and on infrastructure," Manuel said.
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