Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has called on politicians in South Africa to withdraw from all forms of narrow politicking as it is a major setback to the state’s political and economic growth.
The minister who has been putting much effort to convince rating agencies not to downgrade South Africa to junk status told the national Assembly that South Africa’s level of debt is sustainable and that its budget deficit is being well-managed.
“We do not have unsustainable debt, we’re managing our deficit well. What we should all be focusing on is how do we inspire confidence in our economy and how do we stop shooting ourselves in the foot…”
But as opposition parties raised much criticism during debate on the Appropriations Bill, finance Minister Pravin responded by appealing to the house members to collectively work for the common good of the country and not to compete over every issue.
“Let’s move away from point-scoring when it comes to the common good.” he said, adding that ratings downgrade for South Africa will hurt everyone, whether rich or poor, no matter what their political party they support.
The minister has recently been battling with the rumored”espionage” case charged against him by the Hawks but while addressing the house, he kept strictly to the business at hand, not deviating to his personal distress while he referred to the accusations against him as false and malicious.
After much debate, Pravin was given a vote of confidence in the National Assembly, where parties were voting on his R1.3 trillion national budget. The MPs largely supported his budget despite some strings of opposition.
Meanwhile, the minister appealed to the house and all south Africans to protect Treasury staff serving the national interest ‘to the best of their ability’ and in reply to this appeal, DA’s David Maynier said:
“Who do the National Treasury staff require protection from? Of course, the answer is clear, President Jacob Zuma and his proxy forces, including the sugar daddies in Dubai, the peddlers of Project Spider Web and the wreckers in Cabinet who support him. And so we choose to stand against wickedness and support the National Treasury vote.”
The African National Congress (ANC) has, however, raised concern over the increasing rate of which sensitive information meant to be kept a secret is being leaked to the public.
The party raised this alarm when addressing the Gordhan’s case with the hawks. The party said it suspects the case was planted to negatively influence decisions being taken by rating agencies.