Budget Speech 2017: South Africa protests on the streets & Twitter

pravin gordhan budget speech south africa governmentza flickr
(In the Pic - Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan flanked by Director General Lungisa Fuzile and Deputy Minister Nhlanhla Nene arrive in Parliament ahed of the Budget Speech). Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers the 2014 Budget Speech in the National Assembly in Parliament, Cape Town. 26/02/2014, Siyabulela Duda, GCIS

Today, South Africa’s minister of finance Pravin Gordhan will deliver his annual Budget Speech to the nation. Although proceedings officially get underway at 2pm in Cape Town, citizens are already making their voices heard.

While South Africans are voicing concerns about a possible jump in personal income tax, an introduction of a sugar tax, and a higher national fuel levy, some are also finding time to practice their right to demonstrate.

South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan will deliver the 2017 Budget Speech at 2pm, 22 February

In Cape Town’s city centre, Nehawu (National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union) members are marching to parliament to hand over a memorandum to Gordhan detailing its demands of a higher minimum wage and the scrapping of eTolls in Gauteng.

Demonstrations opposing South Africa’s proposed nuclear power deal are also in full swing.

On Twitter, the hashtag #HireAGraduate also began trending around 11am SAST, after pictures of protesting students from Eastern Cape’s Fort Hare University flooded social media.

#OutSourcingMustFall — a hashtag that we’ve seen before on social media — also reemerged on Twitter today, with some protesters reportedly occupying Gauteng’s Provincial Legislature (housed in Johannesburg’s City Hall) this morning.

Twitter users also voiced their opinions, hopes and fears regarding the budget speech’s possible additions and implications.

While #Budget2017 is currently the umbrella hashtag for the day’s events, expect to see a few more contentious issues and resultant hashtags surface on social media during and after Gordhan’s speech.

The budget speech itself will begin at 2pm today, and will be livestreamed on ParliamentTV. Watch it here.

Feature image: GovernmentZA via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker, former editor


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