Business leaders in Kwazulu-Natal do not expect any surprises in today's provincial budget.
MEC for finance and economic affairs and development Zweli Mkhize will unveil his more than R50 billion budget in Pietermaritzburg.
Department spokesman Mbali Thusi said yesterday: "Education, health, employment and infrastructure are among some of the issues that the 2008 09 provincial budget will seek to address.
"The journey to prosperity continues to steam ahead, and this year's budget will provide the right recipe for the province to keep up the momentum in its economic development and growth strategy."
The budget theme for this year is "Step wise, rise to prosperity".
According to a study conducted by the provincial treasury, poverty levels in the province are declining. However, the gap between the first and second economy remains a concern.
Mkhize is also expected to explain strategies that the government will put in place to ensure that government expenditure impacts positively on poverty alleviation.
In the run-up to his budget speech, Mkhize undertook four road shows to different parts of the province to meet various stakeholders. He will continue to host several post-budget road shows.
Business commentator Bonke Dumisa said one of the biggest challenges facing the provincewas the high unemployment rate.
"I hope the MEC gives thought to how much money he will set aside for sustainable job creation initiatives. We need projects that provide jobs," he said.
Political commentator Protas Madlala said he did not expect any major shocks in the budget.
"This will be in line with the national budget. As far as big business goes, we will no doubt hear about load shedding and big business projects like the King Shaka Airport, the Dube Trade Port and more about the region's 2010 allocation," Madlala said.