African National Congress has once again declared it is strongly behind Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and called for an urgent resolution of the issues between him and the SA Revenue Service (Sars).
“The NEC directs that there should be a speedy resolution of the unseemly public spats between the finance minister and public agencies,”
This was contained in a statement by the secretary-general of the party Gwede Mantashe to reporters in Pretoria, following the national executive committee meeting held by the ANC over the weekend.
Shortly before his budget speech earlier this month, Gordhan was reported to be in a tense relationship with the SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane with reports saying Gordhan threatened to resign prior to his budget speech.
The problem started after Gordhan received a list containing 27 questions from the Hawks this is to aid the investigation of the operation of a “rogue unit” at Sars which was allegedly established at the time when Gordhan was a commissioner at Sars.
Finance Minister Gordhan had only occupied the office of the finance minister in December, following the axing of Nhlanhla Nene and Des van Rooyen from office.
Shortly after Gordhan settled into office with very high expectations, the Hawks sent him the questions to be answered promptly. The Hawks’ letter came at a time when Gordhan was torn between preparing his budget speech and trying to reassure investors about South African economy to evade the possible downgrade looming by the corner.
The ANC declared support for Gordhan on Sunday and expressed its confidence in the president and Gordhan to make sure that the country would still attract further investments from investors.
“The ANC affirms its full confidence in the Minister of Finance and applauds the work of the President and the Minister to boost confidence in the South African economy, attract investments and avoid further downgrades,” Mantashe said.
Mantashe also made clear the need for the state-owned entities to stick to the principles of good governance guiding them and always put in their best to pursue financial viability and their developmental mandate.
He also chipped in that the government should “rapidly” look into the challenges facing the South African Airways board, in particular.
“Accordingly, the NEC expressed particular concern about the financial viability of South African Airways, continued governance challenges that have undermined its stability and competitiveness as well as its ability to pursue its turnaround strategy as adopted by Cabinet in 2013.”