​Prepare for a tough budget — Malusi Gigaba

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been pressuring the finance ministry to reduce spending and increase revenue, and South Africans should thus prepare for another tough budget, finance minister Malusi Gigaba told the Mail & Guardian.

Amid speculation that Gigaba could be reshuffled out of the paramount ministry by Ramaphosa after his takeover as head of state, the finance minister has already signaled that his presentation to the national assembly on Wednesday will have little good news.

“South Africans should brace themselves for a tough budget. We have experienced a R50-billion shortfall on top of which we have had to provide funding for fee free higher education. It is important for us to stabilise the debt and close the budget deficit. And so we’ve had to undertake difficult measures to achieve that, which includes cutting spending and raising revenues to address the shortfall,” Gigaba told the M&G.

But Gigaba was hopeful that Ramaphosa’s election would secure new investments to balance the budget.

“It’s going to be a very difficult balancing act but I think the environment is positive and we need to be very optimistic about the trajectory we are taking. President Ramaphosa has provided a very good policy framework to have a good narrative to accompany the figures we will be releasing,” Gigaba added.

The Democratic Alliance meanwhile says the honeymoon between opposition parties and newly elected president Cyril Ramaphosa will be over after the budget.

The DA and most other opposition parties welcomed Ramaphosa’s election and have signaled their willingness to cooperate with them.

“We’re in a honeymoon phase, and it happens with every leader. But then the honeymoon ends, and we’re going to start seeing the end of it with budget. It’s going to be a brutal budget,” DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen told the M&G.

“To plug a 70-billion deficit you need massive spending cuts. Provinces are already also being told to cut down so the budget is going to bite. Tax increases and potential VAT increases are going to start biting,” Steenhuisen added. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

Related stories

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Fix economy: Cut, build, tax

Expert panel presents a range of solutions to the economic crisis that include cost cutting, infrastructure spending and a solidarity levy

Too broke for Mboweni to budget

The scramble to find cash for an SAA bailout, Covid-19 grants and civil servants’ demands force postponement of mini-budget

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

Watch it again: Ramaphosa details economic recovery plan

According to the Presidency, the plan aims to expedite, in a sustainable manner, the recovery of South Africa’s economy

Malawi’s new president is off to a good start

In 100 days of presidency, Lazarus Chakwera has been mostly well received despite a few glitches

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Vitamin therapy is for drips

It may be marketed by influencers, but intravenous vitamin therapy is not necessary and probably not worth the hype, experts say

Facebook, Instagram indiscriminately flag #EndSars posts as fake news

Fact-checking is appropriate but the platforms’ scattershot approach has resulted in genuine information and messages about Nigerians’ protest against police brutality being silenced

Murder of anti-mining activist emboldens KZN community

Mam’Ntshangase was described as a fierce critic of mining and ambassador for land rights.

Unite with Nigeria’s ‘Speak Up’ generation protesting against police brutality

Photos of citizens draped in the bloodied flag have spread around the world in the month the country should be celebrating 60 years of independence

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday