The ultimate test awaits Mboweni at the podium of the national assembly.
In a day from now, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, will deliver his anticipated budget speech 2019, where South Africans and key foreign stakeholders will be paying close attention to how treasury and the government plan on addressing key areas of concern.
It’s a nobrainer that much of the talk will be centered around the unbundling and bailout plan of Eskom and the recently-announced split of the South African Airways (SAA) into three separate entities.
Youth unemployment is also a key issue of contention that the minister will have to address. The strength of the rand is a stake, so is the confidence of the ruling party, heading into a very contentious election period.
Read – Budget speech 2019: When, where, why and how to watch it live
Against all odds, President Cyril Ramaphosa, managed to regain the confidence of the people of South Africa when he delivered his last State of the Nation Address (SONA 2019) as the head of state.
Much of the things Mboweni will expand on were introduced to us by Ramaphosa.
Things like the expected restructuring of our school curriculum with technological tools introduced in every home, or the regulation of the national minimum wage and the unbundling process will be elaborated by the minister.
Eskom alone, on paper, requires a cash-injection of something over R400-billion to put it in good stead financially.
SAA, on the other hand, is still awaiting confirmation of a R21-billion plus bailout from treasury.
Looking into what other political parties expect as they will get a front row seat to the Mboweni show, this is what we have collected:
Read – Budget speech 2019: Mboweni must answer the Eskom question
During a press briefing with the media, the DA’s shadow minister of finance, Alf Lees, together with the newly-appointed member of the portfolio committee, Gwen Ngwenya, challenged Mboweni to “deal with the biggest financial crisis since the advent of a democratic South Africa.”
The party expect to hear the following from the minister when he delivers his budget speech:
Read – Budget speech 2019: COSATU publishes its list of expectations
The red berets have made little noise about what they expect from Mboweni.
However, based on their manifesto, which is largely centered around the acquisition of more jobs for the impoverished majority and access to land, it can be suggested that these are the areas Julius Malema and his supporters will be listening out for.
The recent revelations of possible job losses at Sibanye-Stillwater and at Bosasa will peak their interest in seeing how Mboweni intends to address this.
Read – Budget speech 2019: Eskom shadows Mboweni’s anticipated address
From the two companies alone, more than 10 000 jobs are at risk. This does not include the recent announcement made by Grand Parade International (GPI) that two of it’s international franchises, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins, are closing up shop and heading back home to the United States.
Fresh from delivering their manifesto, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) is expecting to hear how Mboweni intends to deliver on most of the promises that Ramaphosa made in his SONA speech.
The party, led by Bantu Holomisa, champions good governance and progressive economic policies. Mboweni will have to hit the mark on both fronts if he is to woe a stubborn Holomisa and his crew.
#SlipperySlope since 1994; the disgrace continues. #VoteUDM #Election2019 #UDMManifesto https://t.co/q0riCTT88y pic.twitter.com/ZznsgtHXdJ— UDM (@UDmRevolution) February 18, 2019
Read – COSATU urges Tito Mboweni to address unemployment in budget speech
Whether Mboweni comes up with sustainable, long-term financial solutions to South Africa’s economic predicament or not remains to be seen. However, if Ramaphosa’s SONA speech is anything to go by, we expect a fiery cocktail of the same old promise, dashed with a few good quotes here and there to numb our intellectual stimuli.