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Downgrades: Nedlac partners to form task team

Economy
Johannesburg – Government, business leadership and social partners on Tuesday expressed hope that the transition to appoint the new National Treasury director-general would contribute to the stability of the Treasury.

This comes after director-general for National Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile, last week confirmed reports of his imminent departure after he requested former Minister Pravin Gordhan for a re-determination of his contract with the exit date of 15 May 2017 which was due to end in May 2018.

Government, business leadership and social partners were meeting at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) during a Special Executive Council meeting convened to assess and respond to the current challenges facing the country following the recent downgrade of the country's investment status.

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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the meeting. Photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

The Presidency said in a statement that social partners also took the opportunity to acknowledge the sterling contribution Lungisa had made. The Presidency said the meeting was attended by Nedlac social partners comprising senior leadership government representatives, including Ministers Malusi Gigaba and Mildred Oliphant and Deputy Minister Sfiso Buthelezi.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the meeting at the invitation of the social partners.

Read also: Downgrade to hit black businesses

The Presidency said the meeting received a briefing from Gigaba on government's assessment of the context in which the two recent sovereign downgrades by S&P Global and Fitch Ratings occurred, including steps that should be undertaken to avoid a further downgrade and a return to investment grade.

"The meeting expressed concern about the impact the downgrades would have on the economy in general and the quality of life especially for the poor and working class, on job creation, sustainability of business, including small businesses and the ability of big companies to grow and create jobs, infrastructure projects and social reforms," the Presidency said.

"The Nedlac social partners have agreed to establish a high level task team to be briefed by National Treasury, on an ongoing basis, to co-ordinate our all-round efforts to respond to the current challenges."

Presidency said the meeting agreed on the need for a consistent and confidence-building message that demonstrates South Africa's commitment to accelerated inclusive growth.

AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY

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