010307:Cas Coovadia,Managing Director and member of The Banking Association speaks to the media during the unveiling of a Code of Conduct (The Code) to address the public's concern about being harrassed and inconvenienced by people selling credit.Photo by Bonile Bam

Johannesburg - The Banking Association South Africa has welcomed statements emanating from the ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting over the weekend relating to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The association’s MD, Cas Coovadia, says it “welcomes and shares in particular, the confidence that the ANC NEC has expressed in the Minister of Finance. At this critical economic and fiscal juncture, it provides a timely degree of political certainty and assurances to maintaining stability in the political leadership of National Treasury.

“It is also a critical requirement in our collective national effort to get behind the 2016 Budget to boost confidence and inclusive growth in the economy, attract investments and possibly avoid a further ratings downgrade.”

The Banking Association has consistently advocated for greater regulatory certainty, the removal of regulatory impediments and avoiding unintended consequences of new laws and regulations.

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“There is no doubt that the current political climate and governance of state institutions are significant factors underpinning business and investor confidence locally and globally. This has a significant bearing on the economic trajectory of our country and our outlook as an investment grade destination.”

Turning to recent allegations, rumours and reports of undue influence and interference in the state, in particular the appointment of Cabinet ministers allegedly by the Gupta family, Coovadia says: “The affirmation by the ANC that the appointment of Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers remains the prerogative of the President in accordance with the Constitution is welcomed.

“However, as patriotic corporate citizenry we remain deeply concerned and disturbed that the worrisome trend of undue and illegitimate influence and interference in the state continues to represent a clear and present danger and threat to the stability of our Constitutional democracy.”

The Banking Association has welcomed the ANC Secretary-General Gwede Manthashe emphatically stating that no action will be taken against Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, for stating that the Guptas had offered him the top post in Treasury. The Gupta family has denied this allegation.

“We must be clear that ‘state and corporate capture’ is a euphemism for blatant corruption and is not in keeping with the central tenets of our Constitutional democracy. This cannot be conflated with legitimate engagements between ethical and responsible corporate citizens, business leaders and government to achieve innovative solutions and ideas to our country’s challenges and objectives.