JOHANNESBURG - Political analysts believe President Jacob Zuma is in a tough position if he was intending to axe Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan based on the overwhelming support he received in Parliament after delivering his budget speech.
Gordhan announced a new personal income tax rate for top earners to help rein in South Africa’s budget deficit saying 'those who earn more will pay more'.
It comes against the backdrop of a rumoured Cabinet reshuffle with speculation that Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas will be fired.
Gordhan was praised for his budget speech with a standing ovation from Members of Parliament on Wednesday.
But Gordhan was also criticised for thanking the president..
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says if there's any intention to remove Gordhan - that person would have to have a superior profile.
“Any other person, surely the kind of reaction you saw during Nhlanhla Nene's budget, is likely to come back to haunt the president.”
Professor Tinyiko Maluleke says whatever Zuma's intentions are, he doesn't believe he'll be influenced by the support Gordhan has received.
“The removal of Pravin Gordhan is still going to raise eyebrows, I think that would have been the case anyway.”
Gordhan and his deputy will not be drawn on speculation that there may be a cabinet reshuffle.
WATCH: Budget Speech 2017
Meanwhile, some opposition MPs say the finance minister should have announced more stringent measures against corruption.
Although he addressed issues regarding public procurement and corruption, opposition MPs felt that as National Treasury head the minister could have announced stronger measures to deal with irregular spending.
The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF)’s Julius Malema says he expected Gordhan to elaborate more on collusion allegations against banks.
“Even the private sector is robbing our people of things they are deserving of.”
The African Christian Democratic Party’s Steve Swart has also called for fruitless expenditure in the public sector to be completely eradicated.
“We are saying rather look at the R30 billion that is wasted per year in wasteful and corrupt expenditure.”