Chisom Jennifer Okoye
2 minute read
20 Feb 2019
1:47 pm

Young analysts eager to know how Mboweni plans to keep lights on

Chisom Jennifer Okoye

SA's future economists share their hopes for what the finance minister will cover in his budget speech.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: (Beeld/Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo Images)

Future economists have said they are curious to see what the minister of finance, Tito Mboweni, will say about the source of the lifeline of the economy, Eskom, and the government’s plan of action to keep the lights on.

These young analysts are part of the top 20 finalists in the Nedbank and Old Mutual competition, focused on providing financial support to economic students from various universities around the country passionate about South Africa’s socio-economic issues and making a difference after earning their degree. Five of the ten postgraduate finalists come from the University of Witwatersrand.

One of them, Cayleigh Brink, said she thought Mboweni had a tough job ahead of him, as South Africans would be curious to hear about one of the most pressing issues at the moment, Eskom.

READ MORE: Will Mboweni do better than Gigaba’s ‘alright’ budget speech?

She said people would like to know “what the plan of action is going to be and what we are going to do going forward and how we’re going to stabilise Eskom in terms of its debt. I think that’s one of the most critical things in the budget speech.”

Her fellow competitor who is also from Wits, Daniela Lamparelli, said: “I do want to hear something about reducing the debt in Eskom and the GDE ratio, I hope that somehow they will be able to keep the lights on.”

Another finalist from the University of Fort Hare, Mongi Tshaka, said: “There are high levels of unemployment and a sluggish economic growth. I hope the minister will prioritise on the infrastructural development because at the moment we don’t have proper infrastructure, especially in the township. There should be a considerable portion towards the support of small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs).”

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