South Africa’s FM under scrutiny ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s finance minister has announced the first increase in the value-added tax in a quarter-century as the country seeks to bring in new revenue.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech comes less than a week after South Africa’s leadership transition.

He says VAT will increase by 1 percent, to 15 percent. It’s the first hike since 1993, during South Africa’s transition from white minority rule to an all-race democracy.

Gigaba’s speech drew criticism from opposition leaders who say corruption and mismanagement have drained state coffers for years.

The minister is under scrutiny because of ties to the Gupta business family at the center of corruption scandals under former president Jacob Zuma. There is speculation about whether Gigaba will survive an expected Cabinet reshuffle by new President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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