IFP: 'Mboweni must avoid using Budget speech to make ANC look good'

Tito Mboweni arguably faces the toughest Budget of any finance minister in the country’s democratic history, and it comes as parties ratchet up their election campaigns.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says Finance Minister Tito Mboweni must not fall into the trap of using his Budget speech to make the governing African National Congress (ANC) look good in the run-up to the May elections.

Mboweni will make his maiden Budget speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon and is under huge pressure.

He’s expected to unveil details of the government’s rescue plan for Eskom. But strained public finances, a limping economy and the need to keep government debt in check make this Budget a tough test.

Mboweni arguably faces the toughest Budget of any finance minister in the country’s democratic history, and it comes as parties ratchet up their election campaigns.

The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa says South Africans are anxious about the state of the economy, and that Mboweni should avoid making empty promises.

“The minister is duty bound to step up to the plate and present practical and pragmatic interventions that are going to rescue South Africa from the economic slump that we are faced with.”

The party has a string of recommendations for Mboweni, including reducing Value Added Tax and suspending levies on fuel.

“The responsible thing to do is for him to present a Budget for all South Africans, without falling into the temptation of wanting to prop up the ANC with petty electioneering in the face of the crisis that we face.”

The Democratic Alliance is to set out its expectations for this year’s Budget later on Tuesday morning.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)