Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is not a coward. He is taking on the unions. And they are ready, willing and able to respond. Parliament during a Budget is an interesting place, clever people in good suits. Some are gloomy, some are friendly, all want to know what will happen next.
Arriving at Parliament for a Budget instead of a State of the Nation Address is a completely different experience. Instead of the steel and attitude, you get a nod through security, a smile at the suitcase (TV requires more clothes than radio) and even a personal greeting from the person at the accreditation desk. It came with a smile and a little tag to show that I was allowed where I was.
The first thing you check when you find you're doing an outside broadcast at Parliament is the weather forecast. It can be unbelievably hot and muggy. Not a good look. Not a good feeling. The forecast this time was gloomy. Taxes would be up, Eskom was going to hang over everything, the gloom was palpable.
First stop was the TV studio, the little box created by Newzroom Afrika that would see me interviewing people and basically getting anticipation,...