Presenting his budget speech at the South African parliament in
He also promised that the government would build 216 000 houses for the poor, connect 905,000 households to electricity, provide over 11 million children with child support grants and rebuild 433 schools in the next three years.
He pledged to create 6 million jobs in the next 5 years with
He told South Africans they had "laid the foundations for a faster and inclusive growth in the years ahead."
But he also told parliament that
Gordan said the South African economy was set to grow by a slower than projected 2.7 percent this year.
South Africans divided over budget
South Africans gave the budget a mixed response with many praising it as a pro-poor budget, while others dismissed it as electioneering.
"Students who can't pay their school fees can now have a bursary that will be provided by the government," she said.
Civil servant Nondumiso Dlomo was in two minds about it. He suspects that any hand-outs would come with a catch.
"There are going to be price increases on petrol, food, school fees," he said
Nontobeko Magubane, who is unemployed, dismissed the budget as an election gimmick.
"It's too good to be true. I think it's meant to attract voters. Why did they not do these good things over the years? It's about 4 years promising these things, it will never be fulfilled," he told DW.
2014 is election year
Some opposition parliamentarians praised the government for improving basic services for the poor, but others like Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the
"The head of state himself and head of government has made many promises in the past which have not been fulfilled. There was no earth shaking story," he said.
South Africans go to the polls on
The rand lost nearly 18 percent against the US dollar last year.
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