A marketing strategist on Wednesday said the next 12 months would be Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's toughest to date.
Gordhan will deliver his budget speech in Parliament at 2pm on Wednesday.
While most experts agree that fireworks are unlikely, many have urged him to focus on broad relief for ordinary South Africans.
Old Mutual Investment's Derick Ferreria said Gordhan would need to achieve much more, with a significantly smaller budget.
"Going back to 2011, we urge government departments to do more with less. In 2012, I believe it’s a case of much more with much less. We expect a much tighter and a much more conservative budget."