As South Africa’s economy struggles to fall back to normalcy, it is evident that the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has taken the bull by the horn in fine-tuning ways to resuscitate the tanking economy.
It is also crystal clear that the minister needs his cabinet’s full support if the desired economic growth everyone has been yearning for will take place.
Last week, the minister and a delegation of business leaders, labor representatives met over 250 investors in London, Boston and New York to woo their interest for continuous investment in the country.
Giving a report on Monday on the roadshow to London, Boston and New York, Gordhan revealed that investors had raised issues about South Africa’s slow economic growth, investment confidence, sovereign credit ratings and the political environment.
But, the minister believes that “Not withstanding what is happening in the global economy with the volatility and uncertainty we see, we as South Africans have to take full responsibility for our own economy.”
“We need to provide very concrete evidence over the next few months that we are not just talking, and we are not just delivering new plans and new proposals. It’s time for collective action, concrete action and demonstrable action (to) which the world can say, yes, we believe these guys,” Mr Gordhan said.
It is pertinent to note that while road shows are a common feature, Gordhan’s road show was entwined with more urgency as it came after President Zuma axed former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, which led to credit rating downgrade and slowing economic growth.
According to the minister, this indicated that investors were watching the country closely as the events of December, dubbed 9/12, were prominently noticed “beyond South Africa’s borders”.
Furthermore, he revealed that during his investment road show in the UK and USA, potential investors raised eyebrows about the scuffle between him and SARS commissioner Tom Moyane.
Gordhan answered that “The president has said he’s got a process in dealing with this matter so let’s give it a bit of time.”
No doubt, the minister has made no secret of his intention to have Moyane sacked in the SARS ministry. He minced no words when he said that there is no equality between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and a cabinet minister.
“Often you guys get it wrong. Moyane is not a minister. He is the equivalent of the head of an administration,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.
Gordhan however reassured South Africans that they were resilient and that the country’s economy was not the “worst in the world”.
He charged local leaders to take responsibility for the country’s economy.
“We’ve got to use the resources we have in order to generate confidence among our own investors,” he said.
Also, Business Unity SA president Jabu Mabuza noted that the country needs to combat this economic recession to a halt.
“We are in a crisis stage. The downgrade will push us even further into recession,” Mabuza said.
Meanwhile, it is expected that Moody’s assess whether SA is able to tackle its myriad economic problems from Wednesday.