Phikwe residents expect more belt tightening

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Austerity measures that have dogged the country's national budget for the past three years are expected to continue this year when Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Mathambo announces the 2013/2014 budget on Monday.

The nation has painted a gloomy picture for this year's budget with expectations that it will call for  more belt-tightening. The copper mining town does not expect much from the budget.

A local businessman, James Hughes, told Business Week that he expects the minister to announce a tight budget, adding that the next 12 months will be tough due to poor diamond sales. Selebi-Phikwe continues to struggle with a high unemployment rate due to the closure of companies, especially textile firms. Hughes said textile-manufacturing companies cannot survive in Selebi-Phikwe due to the location of the town and competition from other companies located near sea ports like Durban.

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