South African 2020 Budget Speech

As South Africa battles record-high unemployment, and depressed economic growth, all eyes and ears will be on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni who is expected to deliver his much anticipated 2020 budget speech. Demands for spending far exceed revenue and Mboweni must show the government is serious about getting its debt under control. That means reining in spending but not so much as to hurt service delivery. While sin taxes and possibly the fuel levy will definitely go up, he’ll be wary about further overloading hard-pressed consumers with higher income tax or causing a political storm by raising VAT. In his Budget speech last year, Mboweni identified the public sector wage bill and state owned enterprises as the biggest fiscal risks, so expectations are high – but how far he will be able to go in curbing state worker salaries or spelling out a plan for Eskom’s massive debt remains to be seen.
We speak to:

• Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, Economist | FIRST NATIONAL BANK Economics

• Isobel Frye, from the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (in studio)