CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has given his reasoning as to why government will be holding on to National carrier, South African Airways.
Speaking at the Business Report Ignite Breakfast event which is hosted by Business Report and Independent Newspapers, the Minster gave reasons to government's decision to keep SAA as a state-owned enterprise (SOE.)
The BRIgnite event is being held in order to further unpack issues surrounding Gigaba's Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement which he delivered in Parliament yesterday.
Gigaba started his response off by saying, "SAA has about 10 500 employees and for government to lose SAA would be a huge blow to the economy and to the employees that would lose their jobs and have their families affected. SAA is a beacon and shinning spotlight for South Africa and selling it would have a trigger effect on other lenders and people who borrow money from South Africa. Selling SAA would create a very bad impression for our economy."
Morning Live host Leanne Manas, who is moderating the discussion, asked the Minister if he was getting cooperation from other ministers and whether he felt there was any sort of push back. The Minister responded and stated that his colleges "work with him" and that he enjoys the "full support of the presidency."
Executive editor of Business Report, Adri Senekal De Wet then asked the Minister if he could confirm the rumours of another possible cabinet reshuffle coming up in the near future.
Gigaba said, "Cabinet reshuffles do not inspire confidence in the economy. As an economy, we need to settle down and let the current reshuffle and changes in leadership to settle as well as it affected the markets and it now needs to stabalize. I can not speak on rumours of another upcoming cabinet reshuffle."
Gigaba also responded at members of the EFF calling him a 'Gupta puppet' during yesterday's speech.
Speaking on state capture, Gigaba responded to accusations thrown towards him, saying, "I support an independent commission looking into the matter of state capture. It will answer all the questions that people need to know and will bring out what is the truth and what is not the truth. I did not ask for the role of Finance Minister, I was quite happy at Home Affiars, however, I took up the role as the Finance Minister, and I am happy to be in this position and help SA in anyway that I can."
The Minister went on to say that he would be speaking to the reserve governor and the Sars commissioner to address the issue of defaulting tax payers. He also mentioned that funding for poor students needed to be looked at and addressed.
When asked about the rand tanking as the interview took place, Gigaba said, "The rand is a floating exchange rate. There are many reasons why the rand fluctuates and I am aware that markets will react. We need to pay close attention to the economy, create jobs and help in stabilizing the economy."
The rand is currently trading at R14.23 against the US dollar.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE