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Gordhan unfazed by calls for his axing

Politics
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Pravin Gordhan. CREDIT: Reuters
Cape Town – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas remained unfazed by calls from some within the ANC to be fired.
Jonas said on Monday night they were serving at the pleasure of the president, and if they were fired after the Budget they will accept it.
Gordhan and Jonas were on Monday night speaking on eNCA on the budget and threats of a Cabinet reshuffle.
The ANC Youth League last Friday called for Gordhan to be redeployed. They said he was a stumbling block to transformation at the Treasury.
However, Gordhan said if the Cabinet reshuffle happened they would not resist anything.
“We are not indispensable. We are humble public servants,” he said.
He said he has served in the public sector for many years and he has heard the political noises.
He said questions must be asked against those calling for his removal, whose interests they were serving.
Gordhan also said questions must be asked if they were hiding anything.
He said he would not be distracted from delivering one of the best Budgets in the country.
“This is a piece of work we have to do now. We have another piece of work to do tomorrow,” he said of the budget.
Jonas said they would not fight any removal from their positions.
He said they served at the pleasure of the President and were prepared for any eventuality.
Gordhan also denied that he was bullying the state in planning and crafting the budget.
This was an intense process that starts in June and involves all departments.
Letters of the budget process start circulating to various departments months before the budget.
There were 10 ministers who were part of the team that prepares the budget.
The report on the budget is eventually taken to Cabinet in early December for adoption, he said.
He said he did not decide on the budget on his own.
On the budget to be delivered on Wednesday he said it would be a good budget.
However, he did not give out much on what would come out of the budget.
“Our general policy on taxation is, over the years, a progressive tax system. What do you mean by that, is the more you earn the more you are taxed,” said Gordhan.
Jonas warned against the erosion of the capacity of the Treasury and said this was what led to some of the failed states.
They were building the Treasury as an institution and if they left they must leave it intact.
“For all institutions there is danger where the capacity is destroyed,” he said.
Gordhan said they were not indispensable and if they were removed tomorrow they would accept it.
Political Bureau
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