The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, tabled this paper in the National Assembly on Thursday 28 July 2022. Cabinet approved the paper on 19 July 2022. The complete paper can be downloaded below.
The first few paragraphs of the paper explain the purpose of its publication:
1. The 2023 Budget Strategy Paper (BSP) is a strategic policy document that outlines the forthcoming proposed budget priorities after taking into account the macroeconomic conditions in the country. It is meant to improve transparency in the preparation of the National Budget and forms the basis for a detailed budget preparation process that will culminate in the presentation and approval of the 2023 Budget by Parliament later on in the year.
2. The BSP will facilitate public, stakeholder and Parliamentary consultations and engagements on the policy priorities of the 2023 National Budget in order to respond to a difficult global and domestic economic environment.
3. The 2023 Budget will mark the mid-point in the implementation of NDS1 and should allow stakeholders to review progress whilst giving the impetus required to attain policy objectives in pursuit of the country’s Vision of an Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030. Deepening policy reforms is critical so as to entrench the current economic transformation trajectory achieved through implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and National Development Strategy 1: 2021-2025 (NDS1).
4. Countries across the globe face rising commodity prices and inflation, disruptions to world trade and tightening financial conditions mainly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine/Russia conflict. Resultantly, all nations have been forced to make difficult policy trade-offs in order to cope with adversity, attain macro-economic stability whilst also supporting economic recovery and growth.
5. Higher international prices of energy, food, and other critical commodity markets are causing instability and inflation through their pass-through effects on the domestic economy. The required policy responses, particularly with regards to domestic inflation and exchange rate volatility has been made much more difficult by the peculiarities of the domestic economy, characterized by sub-optimal production, the multicurrency regime, absence of international finance and the dual economy.
6. The past four years have witnessed positive transformation and structural changes across sectors such as agriculture, mining and infrastructure, among others, providing a strong foundation on which to build on going forward. The identified actions in this Strategy Paper seek to reshape and rebalance the economy in order to achieve higher and more equitable growth.
7. Implementation of identified policy interventions will support the positive economic growth trajectory experienced to date and expand the country’s productive capacity, accelerate economic transformation, and build the resilience of the economy against adverse external shocks, hence the theme ‘Accelerating Economic Transformation’.
8. Whilst the BSP provides a snapshot of proposed key issues for consideration during a given fiscal year, the subsequent annual Budget Statement and Estimates will provide more elaborate details of these issues, taking account of input from all stakeholders.