The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane has appealed to the ANC in Parliament to help South Africans “junk Zuma”.
Maimane’s appeal follows Fitch Ratings downgrade of the country’s foreign and local currency credit ratings to junk status.
It emerged this afternoon that Fitch Ratings like S&P Ratings has downgraded South Africa to junk status. Fitch pointed out that the downgrade reflects its view that recent political events, including Zuma Cabinet reshuffle, will weaken standards of governance and public finances.
“In Fitch’s view, the cabinet reshuffle, which involved the replacement of the finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and the deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, is likely to result in a change in the direction of economic policy.
“The reshuffle partly reflected efforts by the outgoing finance minister to improve the governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The reshuffle is likely to undermine, if not reverse, progress in SOE governance, raising the risk that SOE debt could migrate onto the government’s balance sheet,” read an excerpt from Fitch’s statement.
Referring to the above, the DA leader affirmed that the Fitch Ratings downgrade is a devastating blow to SA economy.
“…(it’s yet another damning indictment of Jacob Zuma and those who persist in defending him. Jacob Zuma has sabotaged our economy, and the hopes of millions of South Africans, to benefit himself, his family and the Guptas.
“It is the poor who will suffer the most, as there will be less money available for basic services, and jobs will be shed. There is only one way to get rid of Zuma. Parliament must vote him out,” said the DA leader.
“In the face of South Africa’s now-official ‘junk status’,” Maimane continued, “and (the) overwhelming opposition to Jacob Zuma shown throughout the country today, I call upon the ANC caucus in Parliament to reconsider their illogical decision to vote for Zuma in the Motion of No Confidence in 11 days’ time.
“Parliament holds the power to fire Jacob Zuma, and all that stands in our way is the ANC,” Maimane stated.
Afterwards, he lectured that the downgrade to ‘junk status’ will have a severe impact on the country. Among other things, he specified that the ability of the treasury to compensate South Africa’s budget deficit through the issuance of bonds is now placed at risk.
“Foreign investors are now likely to also steer away from South Africa, at a time when we need investment to create jobs.
“On a day that hundreds of thousands of South Africans across the country came out to protest against President Zuma, and our country suffered a further downgrade to ‘junk status’, the case for firing Jacob Zuma is now undeniable.
“This is the surest sign that confidence in Jacob Zuma has reached rock-bottom. It is now only the ANC that remains in his corner.” South Africa just have to “junk Zuma”, charged the DA leader.