Budget Day 2015: What we could expect

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is expected to deliver his budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Alternative measures have been proposed to increase South Africa's tax revenue without changing vat.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is expected to deliver his budget speech in Parliament and reports suggest he may introduce a significant hike to the fuel levy in an attempt to address budget deficits.

With load shedding, labour disputes and unemployment plaguing the country's economy, it is reported that Nene will need an extra R12 billion to fund this year's budget.

Chief economist at Econometrix, Azar Jammine, on Tuesday said a list of innovative solutions to Eskom's power crisis should be a top priority, saying government should be looking at ways to finance the expansion of Eskom's facilities and rectify additional parastatal organisations that are undergoing traumatic experiences at this stage.

GDP SHOWS ECONOMY IS STRUGGLING

The minister is also expected to dedicate a large section of his budget to solving the power crisis, with the latest GDP figures showing that the economy is battling to grow.

Statistics South Africa said the country's economy grew by 1,5 percent last year, down from 2,2 percent in 2013.

Initially, a far better figure was expected for economic growth, but the frequent power cuts have drastically affected business.

Stats SA said eight of the 10 industry groups experienced some growth last year, while two industries shrank in size.

Agriculture expanded by 5,6 percent with government services coming in second place at three percent.

But economic activity within the mining and electricity industries decreased by 1,6 percent and 0,9 percent, while manufacturing showed very little change.

With labour issues and the power crisis two major obstacles to growth, Wednesday's budget is being seen by many as the most important in two decades.