Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

I listened to finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget speech and had déjà vu. It was like listening to the same kind of promises of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address.

Mboweni said all the right things, he ticked all the right boxes and he promised everything so as to pacify the electorate, but mainly for the benefit of the rating agencies. I guess this is why there was no mention at all about land expropriation.

What worries me, even more, is that there were absolutely no details at all of an economic plan, or of the strategy to implement what was promised. No timeframes, no specific actions, and nothing about how all these are going to be achieved or the management teams that will help to implement and expedite all these.

I would really like to see what the reaction of the unions will be when he will try, as he said, to sort out or dispose of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are unproductive or not critical to the government.

I am not holding my breath because we all know where the unions hold the government, and they can always squeeze, especially before the elections.

Jean Michel Bouvier