Mboweni tries to steer SA to 'path of prosperity'

Finance minister Tito Mboweni wants to fix the financial mess - now he needs to convince the public sector to play ball. He briefed the media a short while ago after delivering Medium-Term budget speech. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says the 2018 wage bill exceeds the budget by over R30-billion.

He says this is having an impact of service delivery.

Mboweni was delivering the mid-term budget speech in Parliament.

Mboweni admitted the difficult economic situation faced by South Africans, characterising it as "the economy at a crossroads".

CATCH IT LIVE: Mboweni delivers medium-term budget speech

He opened his speech with a Charles Dickens quote from A Tale Of Two Cities and said the country can choose between two paths: One of hope or of despair.

This metaphor was referenced throughout his speech as he stated the country could choose prosperity and opportunity away from poverty and deprivation.

READ: Mid-term budget speech: Mboweni's baptism of fire

The minister highlighted the need for reform in key economic institutions, including SARS.

He spoke extensively on reprioritisation of funds and effective spending, opening the door to greater collaboration with private enterprise. 

One of the major issues brought forward in the speech was corruption, malfeasance and irregular expenditure.

He pledged that National Treasury would work with government departments to address financial mismanagement at every level of governance.

READ: Tito Mboweni polls Twitter for budget ideas

Along with corruption and financial mismanagement, high costs of essential products were acknowledged by the minister.

Sanitary pads, bread flour and cake flour were added to items without value-added tax.

The minister also stated steps would be taken to reduce the cost of data and improve its quality.

Let's remind you of the key numbers coming out of that budget. Reporter Michael Marillier, joining us at the touch screen.