Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media
JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba may have been delivering his maiden Budget speech, but it could well have been his last one.

Speculation has gone into overdrive that Gigaba could be on his way out as President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to announce a cabinet reshuffle soon.

Yesterday, Gigaba jokingly asked Ramaphosa how long he still had in his position: “President, how much time do I have, sir?”

Ramaphosa did not respond, but grinned in his new seat in the front row of the Chamber.

This was during the clamour for his head by opposition parties, who were refusing to be addressed by him.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said there was a serious judgment by the high court in Pretoria yesterday and moved that Gigaba could not present the Budget.

However, he was overruled by Speaker Baleka Mbete who said the issues did not affect the presentation of the Budget.

But the EFF had made a point of their disapproval against Gigaba presenting the Budget when they boycotted the sitting.

It was not an easy day for Gigaba, with the opposition often interjecting and jeering when he spoke about state capture.

This was in relation to allegations that he was one of the ministers implicated in state capture.

In a grey suit and purple tie, Gigaba told the media in a pre-Budget briefing that his future lay in Ramaphosa's hands. This is a line he has been pushing since last week after Ramaphosa was sworn in.

However, despite the jeers from the opposition benches, Gigaba had support from his colleagues in the ANC, who clapped each time he talked about fee-free education and fixing state-owned entities.

If Gigaba is fired in the coming days he will have served in the position for almost a year, after he was appointed in the dead-of-night cabinet reshuffle by former President Jacob Zuma in March last year. This would be longer than Des van Rooyen, who lasted only four days.

In the midst of jeering by the DA, Gigaba found light-hearted moments when he asked them in Zulu not to fire Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. This was when he was addressing the issue of drought in Cape Town and other parts of the country.

- BUSINESS REPORT