Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba briefs then-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his visit to the U.S. for the IMF World Bank Spring meeting and his meetings with the rating agencies at the Deputy President's official residence OR Tambo House in Pretoria on April 18, 2017.
Gigaba announced an increase in Value-Added Tax from 14% to 15%.
Gigaba said poor households would be cushioned through a zero-rating of basic food items such as maize meal and beans.
"We further welcome the above-inflation increases in social grants‚ which‚ once again‚ affirms our commitment to a comprehensive social security net for the most vulnerable in our society".
The child support grant will increase from the baseline of R380 to R400 on 1 April and to R410 on 1 October.
In a sign that it was mostly middle to high income earners who were targeted by the tax increases, the Treasury said the excise duty on luxury goods would be raised to nine percent from seven percent, among other taxes.
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Excise duties will increase by 23c/750ml bottle for unfortified wine, by 73c/750ml bottle for sparkling wine, by R4,80/750ml bottle for spirits and 15c/340ml can for malt beer.
According to Gigaba the country's economic growth outlook has "improved over the past few months because of strong growth in the primary sector of the economy, particularly agriculture, as well as a welcome recovery in investor sentiment and business confidence". It also revised its projection of GDP growth for 2017 to 1 percent, up from the previous 0.7 percent figure.
"This is a tough, but hopeful budget", Gigaba said, as reported by Reuters.
It also said the country faced a 48.2bn rand revenue gap in the current fiscal year ending in March, down from an earlier estimated 50.8bn rand. This is part of the Treasury's attempt to shrink its budget deficit, which stands at 4.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2017/18 fiscal year.
Consolidated spending would increase from R1,67 trillion in 2018/19 to R1,94 trillion over the medium term.