Experts lukewarm about upcoming budget speech

By Drum Digital
25 February 2015

Some financial experts have their say about what they think Nhlanhla Nene will say before he is set to deliver his speech this afternoon.

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene will deliver his inaugural budget speech at 2'o clock this afternoon.

All eyes will be on Nene as he reads out the state's plans on how he will spend as well as generate the nation's income in the next financial year.

Some financial experts were given a chance to have their say about what their expectations from the speech.

Chris Malikane, a policy advisor for COSATU is expecting Nene to pick up where he had begun at his mid-term budget speech in October.

"Last year, he had tabled tax proposals and he mentioned Eskom and other state-owned enterprises but now I'm expecting him to give a more detailed plan on this. He also mentioned selling some state assets. It would be interesting to find out what these assets are," says Malikane.

Lesiba Mothatha, Chief strategist at Investment Solutions, shared Malikane's sentiments about the minister delving into his October address with finer detail.

"In October he mentioned they would increase revenue but I also expect that he will also address consolidating expenditures, confirm the expenditure ceiling and measure how much the debt levels have risen," comments Mothata.

"To my dismay, there will be hike in taxes which I think will not assist in the country's material growth which is already weak," he continues.

Head of Economics at the African Leadership Academy, Divine Kangami, echoed his hopes in education as a teacher.

"I hope there will be an allocation of money to improve the educational system as well as more scholarships for those that qualify for entrance into University but cannot realise their dreams because of their financial inability," Kangami says.

All three experts are not expecting to be blown over by Nene's delivery but are expectant of the criticism that will come after the address.

"Mainstream media will praise him but I am not expecting him to change the structure of previous speeches. It will probably be anti-worker and anti-poor as private and that's where his criticism will lie," said Malikane.

"Nene might just exaggerate key issues just to please people and that will bring a lot of criticism from the press as well as the opposition parties," Kangami thinks.

Mothata does not expect to be amazed as he has placed himself in the camp of those who think the time has come for "bold moves" to be made in order for the nation's economy to recover and grow.

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