“Importantly and encouragingly, the budget proposals provided generous personal income tax relief to the extent of R9.3 billion as well as enhanced retirement benefits,” Naamsa president Johan van Zyl said in a statement.
“The additional expenditure on social priorities and particularly in respect of education, training and skills development also represented a welcome feature of the budget.”
He said Gordhan’s budget, which was presented to the National Assembly earlier on Wednesday, correctly recognised the importance of increased investment in the economy by both the private and public sector.
Naamsa welcomed government’s commitment to the importance of policy certainty and stability.
Van Zyl said manufacturing and mining represented key growth drivers which could make a positive contribution to the economy and job creation.
“Both sectors had been negatively affected recently by prolonged industrial action.
“Decisive political leadership, supported by a commitment to social dialogue and collaboration between key stakeholders, was required to address the unnecessarily high incidence of industrial disruption in South Africa,” he said.
Naamsa endorsed various initiatives such as the accelerated public infrastructure investment in electricity supply, rail, water, roads and ports.
Support for special economic zones and industrial incentives for industrialisation, as well as tax incentives to encourage youth employment, were particularly noteworthy, Van Zyl said.
The organisation welcomed the postponement of the proposed emissions tax regime to 2016.
“Overall, the budget proposals should support higher levels of economic activity domestically and the budget provisions, including the important commitment to fiscal discipline and the progressive reduction in the budget deficit, should be well received by international and domestic investors and financial markets.
“The budget should also have a positive influence on consumer and business confidence in South Africa,” he said.