Speaker, tomorrow the Finance Minister will tell South Africans what he will do with more than R1 trillion in taxpayers' money. It will be his task to convince taxpayers and the foreign investors that the money will be spent wisely. If he fails, business confidence and positive domestic sentiment will not return, and so, no jobs.
One of the reasons given by the credit rating agencies why it was necessary to downgrade South Africa was concerns about future political stability. We may argue that they are overreacting, but this issue needs to be addressed. When ordinary citizens who are poor get the feeling that they have lost connectivity with the economic environment, that they have lost their ability to engage the economy and that they have accepted that they will remain poor, then it is dangerous and fuel for political instability.
Nigeria has successfully avoided this situation. They are growing, creating jobs and they just might top us as the largest economy on this continent.
Tomorrow's budget must give hope to ordinary South Africans that the can better their position in an economic environment that also cares for them. That is the challenge.