Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is delivering his first and perhaps last Budget speech.
He warned South Africans at the beginning of the week to prepare 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 replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in former president Jacob Zuma’s March 2017 cabinet reshuffle.
Since Zuma’s resignation and Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as president by Parliament, opposition parties have called for the removal of Gigaba as finance minister. However, the president defended Gigaba and several other ministers on Tuesday arguing that a cabinet reshuffle would only happen after intensive consultation.