It may be the economic powerhouse of the country, but Gauteng also has the highest concentration of poverty. "Our cost of living is high, food and transport costs are high. But this budget will bolster confidence so that we can have healthy growth in the economy," a business breakfast heard.
Tax breaks for low income earners, but an increase in the fuel and road accident levies and in sin taxes. The finance minister pulled off a careful balancing act in a slow economy and an election year, tightening the reins on public spending but laying the foundation for the National Development Plan.
While jobs have been created since the "low point of the 2009 recession", the 24% unemployment rate was "still too high", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his annual Budget speech in parliament on Wednesday. Watch video of the speech and view and download key documents.
Wake up: Africa is no longer "the dark continent". It's a growing consumer market, and by 2020 it will be worth a trillion dollars, driven by demand for technology-based goods. Indeed, everything you think you know about Africa is about to change.
The third International Trade Programme trip, taking businesspeople to the United Kingdom to make deals and forge partnerships, was a success. More than half of the 14 people on the tour came back having concluded agreements. The focus this time was on the ICT sector.
The way forward for South Africa is to boost competition and promote regional trade integration. These are critical for restarting the nation's idling export engine to bolster growth, which in turn will help to create jobs and cut poverty.
South Africa is an important emerging market in the global stage, offering a solid and steadily growing economy with secure rewards for potential investors. That was the consensus at the Investment Promotion Workshop hosted by Brand South Africa at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on 5 February.