The budget will be a balancing act. Reining in spending and raising taxes will usher in a few years of pain – not very heavy pain, but unavoidable pain – and the finance minister will need to find a way to spread it among as many groups as possible without causing anger or resentment.
With the theme "Together We Move South Africa Forward", the 2015 State of the Nation Address will be an opportunity to celebrate progress South Africa has made over the past year, and an opportunity to highlight priorities for the next. Let's look at the numbers that make up the event.
According to a recent African Union high-level panel, Africa loses $50-billion annually to fraud and corruption. This has impeded development projects and denied the poorest access to crucial services.
Safety in mines is a big issue in South Africa, and robots produced by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research present the perfect solution. Its Mobile Intelligence Autonomous Systems group created and tested robots that can monitor the safety of mines after blasting.
No longer simply the exploiters of resources and people, the mining industry in South Africa today invests R3.9-billion a year in corporate social investment projects, more than any other sector on the stock exchange. Most of this investment is in communities around the mines' operations.
Graça Machel and Tony Blair are the keynote speakers at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, now in its 20th year. As head of the Foundation for Community Development, Machel leads the sustainable development sessions. A host of other global mining leaders and economists are scheduled to speak.