Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni at medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly, Parliament. Date: October 30, 2019. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni at medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly, Parliament. Date: October 30, 2019. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Finance minister Tito Mboweni, who is in a desperate race to win political support for economic reforms that may stave off a ratings downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, said he is likely to unveil his budget in the last week of February.

The government has set aside February 26 for the budget, Mboweni said in a press conference ahead of his trip to Davos, Switzerland where, he plans to emphasise SA’s commitment to fix its finances and stabilise state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to foreign investors.

“We are waiting for confirmation from the speaker,” he said.

The date is just less than a week later than in 2019, when he delivered his inaugural budget on February 20. In the two years before that, his predecessors Malusi Gigaba and Pravin Gordhan delivered their budgets on February 21 and February 22, respectively.

The public-sector wage bill “is a huge threat” to the country’s fiscal position and “we have to find a solution  before the February budget”, Mboweni said, adding that, “Never-ending demands from SOEs” are a clear threat.

mnyandal@businesslive.co.za