Picketers in Johannesburg made it clear on Wednesday morning that they expect Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to apply the knife to the right places when he delivers his budget speech later in the day.
In a picket outside the Hector Pieterson Memorial, members of the Right2Know campaign said they expect Mboweni to take into account the fact that people are suffering due to the Covid-19 lockdown and its effects on employment and the economy. Therefore, they expect him to ease the pain on already suffering taxpayers, by laying the knife in on limping SOEs, instead of further hurting the ordinary man on the street.
Right2Know spokesperson Bongani Xezwi said they were picketing to remind the minister that “people need food”.
“People need jobs. Those are the most important things we want the finance minister to address, because everyone is vulnerable.”
He says the organisation hopes Mboweni doesn’t have plans to cut municipal budgets in order to make ends meet in his emergency budget, but that he should instead focus on trimming the fat at SOEs, which are a massive drain on the fiscus.
“We want the finance minister to not cut the metros’ budgets, because we look forward to having service delivery and all that. So, we encourage the finance minister to cut the SOEs, because most of our budget goes to Eskom… To SAA, and we are saying it’s about time to change that attitude and focus on other areas. During this period of Covid-19, the most important area is to make sure there is food on everyone’s table.”
Mboweni is expected to deliver his budget at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.