Mboweni will have to make tough political choices in Budget 2019 - economist

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to deliver his much-anticipated annual budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Economist Dr Iraj Abedian looks at what is to be expected when the finance minister presents his budget speech.

You and I as citizens, we don't know whether we are going to have electricity to our homes and businesses. Investors don't know what the long-term energy scenario is going to be and the headlines and noise in this regard doesn't help because it creates confusion.

Dr Iraj Abedian, Chief economist - Pan African Investment

It is left to the minister to put some details on this very complex situation, as they say, lift the fog and create some clarity.

Dr Iraj Abedian, Chief economist - Pan African Investment

Abedian says this is going to be the most difficult budget speech to deliver because "people are expecting the government to be kind and caring, but it is election time and the government has little space for electioneering type of spending."

On the revenue side, it is terribly constrained. As they say in economics, it has zero degrees of freedom, no room to manoeuvre, because the looting of the past decades has robbed the country to its knees and state-owned enterprises have been left with completely hollowed out balance sheets.

Dr Iraj Abedian, Chief economist - Pan African Investment

I think this is going to be an incredibly difficult balancing act that the minister has to do. It is going to be a tough political choice.

Dr Iraj Abedian, Chief economist - Pan African Investment

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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