Finance Minister Gordhan Pravin gives a note of assurance to investors and the entire South Africans that the finance department will do its best to ensure SA economy escapes downgrade
The Minister, who was speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit 2016 in Sandton on Monday, said government, business and labour have done “phenomenal” work in trying to prevent a credit ratings downgrade.
Minister Gordhan said this after he was asked if he would answer for it should the economy eventually falls to junk status.
“Why should there be a fall guy?” he asked.
“As South Africa post-December last year we did phenomenal work as team South Africa,” Gordhan said as he referred to a series of international trips to global investors by government, business and labour earlier this year.
“There’s another round of visits right now,” he said.
“So, it’s up to us as South Africans to put our best foot forward.” came Gordhan’s reply to the question.
Credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) will in a few weeks from now, decide whether or not to downgrade South Africa and the country’s political instability will be one of the key factors to be considered by the agencies especially as it affect the economy.
But despite an increasing split in the ruling ANC, Gordhan said that South Africa is not the noisiest country in the world politically.
“Political noise is relative,” said Gordhan.
“If you met someone from Brazil eight weeks ago, they were the noisiest place in the world.
“We’re not necessarily the noisiest place in the world,” said Gordhan.
The minister said earlier that for SA to avoid a downgrade to junk status, citizens should do their best to “galvanise positivity”.
“We need to use that resilience and not forget that we are a hopeful people. We will get the best results possible even in a difficult situation,” he said. Gordhan referred to the difficulties the country is currently facing, and said surmounting them is not “impossible”.
“If we get the ingredients right, we will find ourselves on a different and better path. Greed is one of the factors that damages society and social cohesion and promotes corruption,” said Gordhan
He said the solution to this is “inclusive growth” which involves all people. “Partnerships between government, business and labour should have a meaningful impact on South Africa’s population of 55 million people,” he said.
Gordhan also hinted that the ANC’s local leadership battles must not hurt the country. “Keep the contest and national interest in balance,” Minister Gordhan pleads with political parties.