South Africa’s Gordhan faces tough balancing act in budget speech
25 Oct 2016

South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan faces a tough balancing act on Wednesday when he unveils a midterm budget meant to boost the sickly economy and show his looming fraud case is not distracting him.

Gordhan has said he plans to reduce government spending, raise taxes and cut the budget deficit to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2016/17 fiscal year, from 3.9 percent in the previous year.

But closer on his horizon are a Nov. 2 court appearance on fraud charges that he has dismissed as politically motivated, and pressure to provide more subsidies for students who have staged violent protests to demand free university education.

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