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[LIVE BLOG] Medium Term Budget Policy Statement

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is delivering his first Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

WATCH:

As at 4:05PM the rand is trading at R13.90 to the US dollar, strengthening from R13.93 at 3PM.

It seems Malusi Gigaba hasn't convinced everyone...

A different perspective on Eskom's power surplus

And that's it. The minister's first Medium Term Budget Speech is done. We'll continue to look at what he said and what the analysts think about the speech.

The minister says Eskom is "too big fail" and he will ensure a Treasury team goes to the utility to help it out.

Gigaba is explaining why South Africa needs SAA, and why Eskom isn't doing a bad job.

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh is pulling out numbers from the archive.

Makinta believes in giving credit where it's due.

Thank Captain Obvious

You can call him a whole lot of things: Zuma's lackey, a Gupta soldier, etc, but the minister is one cool cat. Will his coolness help SA's struggling economy? The movement of the rand says, "No

The minister has announced government will dispose of some of its Telkom shares. "This is not a decision we've taken lightly."

Let's check in on the rand. When Gigaba started his speech it was trading at R13.72 to the US dollar. As at 3PM it was trading at R13.93.

Let this sink in: More than 30 million people live on R1,000 a month. South Africa's official population is 55.9 million.

This is scary.

Gigaba says SAA now has strong leadership to turnaround the airline. (Comment: Only time will tell)

The minister is delivering a couple of sweet-sounding soundbytes, but will he convince the market and South Africans?

Gigaba says government must work at the pace the economy needs, not the other way around. (Comment: This sounds like a great soundbyte, but what does it mean? Why has Gigaba not acted on this thinking before now).

"We need to rebuild confidence as a matter of urgency." Gigaba says.

"95% of our wealth is in the hands of 10%of the population." Gigaba said.

Gigaba says millions of South Africans still live in poverty, there is high unemployment numbers and the youth bear the brunt, however, Tweeps are tired of hearing the same things...

DA members regularly chirp about DUBAI!

He says the government intends to sell off some of its assets – with its Telkom stake still in the mix – to prevent this bailout causing a R3.9 billion breach in the expenditure ceiling.

Okay seriously now, economic growth has been revised down: 

The last one...

Tough times ahead, says the minister:

The minister admits that job creation and undoing the high rate of unemployment is government’s biggest priority.

Gigaba says “we will continue to optimise and innovate in our spending… to address challenges faced by South Africans.”

Remember Gigaba’s main task today is to re-ignite confidence in the South African economy. Will he succeed?

Gigaba is now delivering his medium-term budget.

Mbete threatens to call in protection services. EFF choose to leave peacefully.

ANC whip Jackson Mthembu interjected saying complaints must be made through a motion. Ndlozi calls him a hypocrite.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the house can't be addressed by Gigaba, adding that he's responsible for state capture. 

Gigaba has not been able to deliver his budget in Parliament because of disruption from the EFF.

The minister has shown his readiness on his Twitter account: 

NB: This will be Gigaba's first major budget speech since he took over from Pravin Gordhan, who was fired by President Jacob Zuma in April. A lot is at stake here.

He will have to explain how he intends dealing with rising government debt.

Gigaba will be spelling out the government’s spending plans for the next three years.

The Democratic Alliance says the minister should focus on the "big five" challenges, including boosting economic growth, stabilising public finances, supporting the independence of financial institutions, reforming “zombie" state-owned enterprises and mitigating significant long-term fiscal risks.

It's expected that Gigaba will be asking Parliament to condone at least another R5 billion to keep lenders at bay.

National Treasury has already transferred more than R5 billion to SAA since June 2017.

Gigaba said last week that government is still looking to dispose of assets to offset the bailout of the struggling South African Airways. He said he will provide details of the transaction when he delivers his budget.

So what do we know so far?

This is going to be Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's first medium-term budget.

Good morning and welcome to EWN's live blog which will bring you rolling updates on the medium-term budget.