Budget fever sweeps over SA

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's annual budget speech today is hot on the lips of South Africans.

Today will be the 12th time Manuel delivers one of the most important speeches in the financial year.

Economists have predicted that personal income tax is likely to be limited. Nedbank economists believe that Manuel should focus on tax relief for companies.

The economists say tax relief should be offered to businesses to help them cope with the power crisis.

But what are the ordinary people expecting from today's budget speech and what do they hope for?

Sowetan WebTV went out to get the views of the public.

Robert Chilingulo, a 26-year-old IT technician, said the government should focus more on crime and unemployment.

Aftan Delaney, a 56-year-old street trader, is concerned about tax relief.

Manuel has been serving as the country's finance minister for the past 12 years. With President Thabo Mbeki's recent upset at Polokwane and the leftist policies of ANC president Jacob Zuma will Manuel survive another few terms?

Thuso Mapela, a 58-year-old labourer, said Manuel was the right man for the job. But Delaney believes that a younger person is more suitable for the job now.

Go to www.sowetan.co.za and check out the Budget Day Special Report for the video.