Will this be his first and last budget speech? Gigaba's future as uncertain as South Africa's finances

Will this be his first and last budget speech? Gigaba's future as uncertain as South Africa's finances

- Malusi Gigaba is set to deliver the annual Budget speech on Wednesday

- Speculation is rife that it may be the first and last time the Finance Minister delivers the speech considering the allegations of corruption he is facing

- President Cyril Ramaphosa has made it clear he will be reshuffling and downsizing Cabinet, but the process may take months

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Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will deliver his maiden Budget speech on Wednesday, while rumours persist that it could also be his last.

There is a need to account for over R50 billion in the budget and the country is waiting to hear from Gigaba how this will be financed.

In March last year, Jacob Zuma replaced Pravin Gordhan with Gigaba, in a midnight Cabinet reshuffle. His deputy, Sfiso Buthelezi, replaced Mcebisi Jonas.

The EFF members of parliament delayed the start of Gigaba’s inaugural Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October 2017, accusing him of being a “Gupta stooge” before exiting the chamber.

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Sfiso Buthelezi responded to questions about Gigaba's future, saying he is definitely presenting the speech, amid calls for him to be axed, Briefly.co.za gathered.

“I think the question that is being asked to the minister is he going to present the Budget, that is why we are all here.

“There’s a Budget that’s going to be presented and it’s going to be presented by nobody else but Malusi Gigaba. That’s the information that we are all having.”

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa dealt with opposition calls to get rid of ministers compromised by allegations of state capture, corruption and incompetence when he responded to debate on his State of the Nation Address.

Buthelezi responded to the questions on behalf of Gigaba, stating that, “On the matter of the composition of the Cabinet, an announcement will be made by the president at the appropriate time so don’t go ahead of yourselves.

“This matter will be addressed, and I can assure you that when it is addressed, it will be addressed very carefully, without any noisy interventions that I am hearing on this left-hand side,” he added.

Ramaphosa has confirmed that he plans to cut the size of Cabinet down significantly, but will only do so after a full and proper consultation process, which could take several months.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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