Expectations soar for Gordhan’s budget speech

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will present the national Budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) chief executive Neren Rau said last week that Gordhan should take a firm stance on managing the budget deficit in this year's budget.

"Sacci would like to a see a balance between spending on social priorities and on productive assets that support sustainable economic growth," he said on Friday.

The Democratic Alliance on Monday said it hoped the budget speech would contain steps to cut state spending and lower taxes in a bid to curb the national debt and stimulate the economy.

Sanlam investment economist Arthur Kamp told the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday that he expected the budget to feature much spending but little economic growth.

Regarding taxes, Kemp did not predict any major announcements for the budget speech on Wednesday.

But the tax base was expected to broaden in a few years if budget deficits could not be managed.

'False promises'
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) would hold a demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday to demand decent jobs for black youth.

Numsa regional secretary Vuyo Lufele said the union did not have high expectations of Gordhan's budget speech.

"We expect, as usual, our people to be fooled and lured to sleep with false promises of millions of jobs from construction and other capitalist projects … More painfully, we expect [Gordhan], like his master President Jacob Zuma, to pontificate that 'South Africa is better than it was before 1994'." – Sapa

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