Tax expert Professor Matthew Lester presented a lecture to Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s MBA students on: Governance and Transformation – National Budget 2018.
Lester, who lectures on tax and corporate governance at Rhodes University’s Business School, shared insights on how the recent changes in South Africa’s political landscape had affected the economy.
‘Transformation and the budget go together – that is we have to speak about governance in South Africa. Good governance is about seeing the problems before they happen and managing the risks. We are at a point where personal tax is not sufficient to handle the country’s debt and we now have to figure out how to live in this mess,’ said Lester.
Besides discussing the VAT increase, Lester also spoke on state capture and its cost to the economy, Jacob Zuma’s resignation, the cost of free Higher Education, land expropriation without compensation and the crisis of youth unemployment.
‘The current budget requires the poor to pay more than the wealthy because there are different types of zero ratings,’ said Lester. ‘If this budget really favoured the poor then we should have had a 2% VAT increase with the 1% going to the poor through social grants. We are in a situation where the population is growing faster than the economy and we need to create 9 million jobs in the next 50 years to control our unemployment crisis. That is why we need good sound leadership because more is expected from our leaders than anyone else,’ said Lester.
Sadly, Professor Matthew Lester passed away this week after a short illness. He will be missed.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Sakhile Fatyi