Gigaba to deliver Budget speech amid speculation of axing

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba wasn’t answering questions about his future on Tuesday and left it up to his deputy to speak for him.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is set to deliver his maiden Budget speech on Wednesday amid speculation that it could also be his last.

Gigaba was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma to replace Pravin Gordhan in a midnight Cabinet reshuffle in March last year, while his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi replaced Mcebisi Jonas.

In October last year, Economic Freedom Fighters Members of Parliament delayed the start of Gigaba’s inaugural Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, accusing him of being a “Gupta stooge” before exiting the chamber.

Gigaba wasn’t answering questions about his future on Tuesday and left it up to his deputy to speak for him.

“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.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday dealt with opposition calls to get rid of ministers compromised by allegations of state capture, corruption and incompetence when he responded to debate on his State of the Nation Address.

“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.”

Ramaphosa also plans to cut the size of government but only after a proper review and consultation a process he says will take a few months.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)