The credibility of finance minister Tito Mboweni's latest budget depends on his ability to stare down the cabinet and walk a political tightrope enforcing unpopular decisions, experts say. Mboweni's budget promised to consolidate public finances in a political season that demands decisions that will attract voters for the ruling party. SA will hold local elections this year.The minister's previous hard stances have been undone by his cabinet colleagues in the past, including when he was forced to allocate money to the state airline against his wishes late last year. "This budget is not populist. It does not play to electoral interests," said Richard Calland, political analyst and lecturer in public law at the University of Cape Town. The budget did not increase welfare benefits in line with inflation, as is usually the trend. "Mboweni is reducing the purchasing power, the livelihood of 17-million people who are the bedrock of the ANC's support in many respects," Calland said....

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now