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What the 2024 Budget Speech Means for Capital Financing Opportunities

By J Ferrer

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February 28, 2024

As entrepreneurs and finance professionals, staying abreast of the Budget Speech is of the utmost importance — especially when you’re considering factors like capital financing. But, if you didn’t have a moment to spare to listen to the full speech by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, we’ve got your back. Here’s our summary of the most salient points from the Minister’s address that pertain to SMEs. 

Potential SME challenges outlined by the budget speech 

While the budget speech can’t ever really be split evenly down the middle into “good news” and “bad news”, the Minister did mention a few things that could pose potential challenges for South African SMEs. 

Most notably, modest tax increases and higher excise duties on tobacco, vaping, and alcohol products were announced. These increases could have an impact on consumer spending habits and demand fluctuations for certain products. While this could pose a challenge for some SMEs, it can also represent an opportune moment for the development of innovative products and solutions.  

SME growth opportunities outlined by the budget speech  

It’s clear from the Minister’s speech that the government is demonstrating a firm commitment to managing debt and supporting economic growth. Their goals could indicate a more stable and predictable business environment for the foreseeable fiscal future, which is excellent news for growing businesses. 

Furthermore, the government has also proposed a freeze on general fuel levies for 2024/25 to mitigate the rapidly rising cost of living, which means that businesses can expect to save costs associated with deliveries and transportation. 

Finally, the 2024 Budget Speech outlined industries ripe for investment soon, highlighting lucrative growth opportunities for South African SMEs. Firstly, the government is proposing tax breaks to incentivise SMEs involved in the production of electronic vehicles and to incentivise sustainable business practices in general. According to the Minister of Finance, the government is aiming to transition the automotive industry from producing primarily vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to a dual platform including electric vehicles by 2035. 

In addition to the automotive industry, the logistics sector — especially SMEs involved in freight — can expect positive changes. The government rolled out a Freight Logistics Roadmap in 2023 that details plans to improve port equipment, locomotive availability, and network security. Furthermore, to enhance efficiency, the government is looking to facilitate the introduction of competition and leverage the financial and technical support of the private sector. As such, third-party access to the freight rail network will be introduced in May of this year. 

Get fast, flexible capital financing for your growth opportunities 

The budget speech heralds the beginning of a new fiscal year, one full of exciting challenges and opportunities for SMEs all over South Africa. And, if you liked our snappy summary of the budget speech, you’ll love how quick our paperless business finance application is. 

Apply for your Bridgement facility online today and receive access to up to R5 million in business funding in 24 hours or less. If it’s quick and simple, it’s got Bridgement’s name on it. 

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