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Mboweni to detail way forward for SA with 'emergency' budget

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will be providing details on the R500 billion relief package that the government intends to help businesses and individuals survive at a time when the country is experiencing record levels of unemployment.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will take centre stage when he unveils an “emergency’ budget on Wednesday.

The supplementary budget is expected to chart a way forward to kickstarting an economy that was already faltering before the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown brought it to its knees.

Mboweni will be providing details on the R500 billion relief package that the government intends to help businesses and individuals survive at a time when the country is experiencing record levels of unemployment.

About R130 billion of the package is to come from reprioritising money already allocated to departments, signalling tough times ahead.

Minister Mboweni will need all the resilience his trademark aloe plant can offer when he unveils his supplementary budget today.

WATCH: What to expect from Finance Minister Mboweni’s special Budget Speech

It comes just four months after his February budget, which has now been significantly unravelled by COVID-19 and three months of lockdown.

Mboweni will spell out where South Africa finds itself in a world where economies across the globe have been buffeted by the coronavirus.

The minister is likely to indicate what size of bailout can be given to national carrier South African Airways and the struggling Land Bank.

He may also signal the need for new or higher taxes, although tax announcements are traditionally only made in the February budget.

Economists are expecting South Africa’s gross domestic product to contract by double-digit figures and the budget deficit to widen further, meaning less money available for goods and services.

Mboweni will not be in the House but will address today’s joint sitting on a virtual platform at 3pm this afternoon.

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