Finance minister Tito Mboweni will deliver the national Budget Speech at 14hoo on Wednesday (26 February).
The budget speech can be viewed through several channels, including TV services like DStv, news channels, and live-streaming sources like YouTube.
You can watch the Budget Speech from the following sources:
What to expect from the Budget Speech
Mboweni is expected to touch on a number of important issues during his budget speech including tax hikes, government salaries, and the country’s growing debt problems.
Key to this will be austerity measures around government spending. Projections tabled in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October 2019 suggest that the fiscal deficit is heading towards 6.5% of GDP, said Allan Gray economist Sandy McGregor.
“The immediate problem has been caused by the effective bankruptcy of Eskom and certain other parastatals,” he said.
“This has triggered a crisis caused by a decade of unsustainably large increases in the public wage bill.”
Mboweni is also expected to announce a number of tax hikes and adjustments, with some economists warning of a possible ‘one-off wealth tax‘ as well as a VAT increase.
Other tax issues Mboweni is expected to cover include:
- Medical tax credits;
- Fiscal drag;
- An increase in fuel levies;
- An increase in sin taxes;
- An increase in the sugar tax.
However, analysts have warned that even if Mboweni presents a ‘good’ budget, it is unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk.
Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll happen in the first half.
That’s after the ratings company in November cut the outlook on the nation’s assessment to negative and said it would look to the 26 February budget for a feasible strategy to contain rising debt.