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WATCH LIVE: Tito Mboweni delivers MTBPS

The Finance Minister is expected to paint a grim picture of the current state of the economy, which was already limping when the COVID-19 lockdown brought it to its knees.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Medium-Term Budget Policy Speech in Parliament on 28 October 2020 in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is delivering the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement at Parliament.

As part of the measures announced, Cabinet has decided to extend the Social Relief of Distress grant to the end of January 2021.

He’s expected to paint a grim picture of the current state of the economy, which was already limping when the COVID-19 lockdown brought it to its knees.

WATCH: Tito Mboweni delivers Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

With the government committed to reducing its debt through fiscal consolidation, Mboweni is likely to announce spending cuts and other steps aimed at bringing the country’s books into some sort of balance within the coming years.

One question mark over Mboweni’s mid-term budget review today is whether or not the government will hold the line on its decision not to honour the last year of a multi-year wage agreement with public sector unions.

The matter is before the Labour Court, but so far, the government has been clear that there is no more money available for above inflation increases - something that could complicate fresh wage talks that are looming.

Economists have warned that South Africa could face a debt crisis, saying it will be impossible from a political point of view to rein in spending and stabilise debt the way that Treasury plans to do.

Mboweni is also expected to announce a R10.5 billion bailout for bankrupt national airline SAA.

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