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Nene faces tough battle ahead of budget speech

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will deliver the budget speech on Wednesday.

FILE: Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will spell out the financial state of the nation as he delivers his budget at Parliament on Wednesday.

With sluggish growth, stubborn unemployment and load-shedding, he's facing a difficult task.

The big question for most South Africans is whether or not he will raise taxes.

Nene's first budget policy statement in October was warmly received, but he warned then that government was going to need several billion more rands than it was expected to rake in through taxes.

He needs to find an extra R12 billion to help fund this year's budget.

South Africans will be waiting to hear just where that money is going to come from.

With little choice but to raise taxes, the question is whether Nene will target top earners or an already squeezed middle class.

Load shedding has already dented the country's growth prospects.

Nene has got his work cut out for him to find good news to deliver to the nation.

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