Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba will be delivering his maiden Budget Speech on Wednesday. This is amid speculation that his first speech may also be his last.
Former President Jacob Zuma appointed Gigaba as a replacement for Pravin Gordhan in a midnight Cabinet reshuffle in March year. Mcebisi Jonas was replaced by Sfiso Buthelezi as Deputy Finance Minister.
The start of Gigaba’s inaugural Medium Term Budget Policy Statement was delayed in October last year after Economic Freedom Fighters MPs accused him of being a “Gupta stooge”.
On Tuesday, Gigaba did not answer any questions surrounding this future as Minister of Finance. His deputy, however, spoke on his behalf.
Buthelezi said: “I think the question that is being asked to the minister is he going to present the Budget, that is why we are all here. There’s a Budget that’s going to be presented and it’s going to be presented by nobody else but Malusi Gigaba. That’s the information that we are all having.”
During the State of the Nation Address debate on Tuesday, newly elected President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa responded to insistent calls by opposition parties to remove incompetent, corrupt and compromised ministers.
He said: “On the matter of the composition of the Cabinet, an announcement will be made by the president at the appropriate time so don’t go ahead of yourselves.
“This matter will be addressed, and I can assure you that when it is addressed, it will be addressed very carefully, without any noisy interventions that I am hearing on this left-hand side,” Ramphosa added.
The new president has also made plans to cut the size of government but says this will only happen after a proper review and consultation a process.
According to Ramaphosa, the whole process will take a few months.
The Budget Speech is set to start at 14:00 on Wednesday although most livestreams are set to commence at 13:30.