As organizations continue with their protest against Gordhan’s firing, newly appointed Finance minister Gigaba tells officials at the treasury department not to be carried away by the “noise” outside because they would soon pass.
Gigaba who was referring to the “Occupy Treasury” campaign staged by Save SA outside his headquarters in Pretoria on Church Square, said he believes the negative reaction to his appointment as finance minister will pass in a very short time.
“Forget all the noise outside. Do your jobs. What you see and hear will pass. Change brings with it such anxieties,” Treasury quoted him as saying on Twitter on Tuesday.
The minister was addressing the treasury staff at the old Reserve Bank building in Pretoria where he revealed to them, his vision for the department.
Though himself and his deputy, Sfiso Buthelezi’s appointment to the treasury department generated much chaos as many believe their appointment was to pave the way for Zuma and his family friends, the Guptas to control the treasury, Gigaba, maintained that he would bring a drastic turn around to the already failing economy.
Some critics are of the opinion that the newly appointed minister has been deployed to Treasury to push forward key programmes like the nuclear deal and to undermine the fiscal integrity of the institution.
Nevertheless, Minister Gigaba promised to remain committed to serving the public and working with the treasury staff to ensure a swift turnaround of the nation’s economy.
“You guys have distinguished yourselves over many years,” Gigaba told staff on Tuesday. “We will support you in that effort, especially at this time.”
“There is a lot of work. I work hard. I am a good listener, but I also take decisions.”
Buthelezi also told staff “there are limited resources and too many competing priorities”, adding that Treasury “will not spend money we don’t have”.
Meanwhile, the implications of Gordhan’s removal continue to ripple as reports of National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile’s resignation reignited speculations about the fall of the treasury.
Fuzile had before Gordhan was fired, asked to leave his post at the end of this month, a year before his contract runs out, so he could face his personal businesses.
Confirming his resignation, Fuzile gave a hint that he was considering his future at the Treasury
“People should be allowed to leave,” he told reporters in Pretoria. “I don’t want to be permanent in my role,” he said, adding that when he leaves, he would endeavor to ensure that his steps are orderly and not harmful to the stability of Treasury as an important fiscal institution.
While Fuzile moves out of the treasury, Minister Gigaba introduced his new advisers who are said to have controversial backgrounds and links with the controversial Gupta family.
The minister’s advisers are Thamsanqa Msomi, who will focus on political issues, and Kholeka Gcaleka, who will focus on legal issues.
Msomi is a Denel board member who was “implicated by two highly placed sources as being … close to the Gupta family”, according to a report in Mail & Guardian in March 2016.
The South African Communist Party said this was a proof that Gigaba was appointed as Finance minister for his links to the Guptas.
However, Minister Gigaba replied to this on Tuesday, saying while he has met the Guptas, they don’t influence the decisions he makes.
“As I meet many other business people, it does not mean I have a relationship with them,” he said following a question from Fin24 during a press conference,
Meeting someone does not mean they have an impact on your decisions. Ultimately I take my own decisions,” he said.