JOHANNESBURG - Shocking unemployment numbers, low growth and state-owned enterprises, billions of rand in debt.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni faces the tough task of balancing government's books when he delivers his medium-term budget policy statement.
Analysts say Mboweni can win favour from ratings agencies and investors by converting aspirations into real strategy.
Millions of jobless South Africans fail to find work in an anaemic economy in which business remains reluctant to invest and expand.
Economist Iraj Abedian wants investors to see a budget with more defined strategy and less aspiration.
"So the nine-point plan and the five-point plan, these are not plans they are aspirations," Abedian said.
"Only if a target has timelines and deliverables that becomes a plan. So, a lot of castles have been built, the problem with our economy is that we don't have a plan."