Tito Mboweni is caught between a rock and a hard place

As the country awaits the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, the new Finance Minister is confronted with poor growth prospects, limited revenue and massive demands on the public purse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Tito Mboweni as Minister of Finance, who was sworn in on 9 October 2018. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - All eyes are on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni as he’s set to unveil the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement at Parliament from 2pm.

Mboweni’s maiden speech after his appointment just over two weeks ago comes as the country battles a technical recession, a volatile rand and rising unemployment and fuel prices.

He will spell out the government’s spending plans for the next three years, but is also expected to be frank about the economic challenges the country faces.

These include the risks posed by debt-ridden state-owned companies, the government’s soaring wage bill and weak financial management in the provinces and local government.

One of Mboweni’s big tasks is to try and restore confidence in the economy and trust in the government as it moves to root out the corruption and end the state looting that came to a head under former President Jacob Zuma.

Confronted with poor growth prospects, limited revenue and massive demands on the public purse, Mboweni is caught between a rock and a hard place.

He’s expected to put some flesh on the bones of the economic stimulus package announced last month by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which aims to focus public spending on areas that can grow the economy and create jobs.