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Zuma’s actions ‘put SA into turmoil’ – BASA

President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

Published Mar 31, 2017

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Johannesburg

– The Banking Association of SA says the vacuum of leadership caused by the

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announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle is of extreme concern for the whole of

South Africa.

Its

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statement – on Friday morning – comes after President Jacob Zuma on Thursday

night sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle

after days of speculation that has rocked the country's markets and currency,

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replacing him with home affairs head Malusi Gigaba.

A statement from the president's office just after

midnight on Thursday said Zuma had also appointed Sfiso Buthelezi as Deputy

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Finance Minister replacing Mcebisi Jonas.

BASA MD

Cas Coovadia says Zuma’s “actions have put our country into turmoil, at a time

the country is trying to come together to address the problems we face. We have

no choice but to say this reshuffle is not in the best interests of the

country. We are also left with little choice but to question the motives behind

this action.”

Coovadia

adds the specific change in both Finance Minister and Deputy Finance Minister

creates a dire loss of institutional knowledge and raises legitimate and

alarming concerns regarding issues of fiscal discipline, protection of

institutions and indeed.

BASA has

previously voiced its deep concerns regarding the actions of the President.

These have unfortunately fallen on deaf ears, he says.

“BASA

objects again – and in the strongest possible terms. The President's actions directly

undermine the significant progress made in the last 18 months towards building

confidence in our country.

Read also:  Gigaba an unknown quantity - analysts

“These

actions fly in the face of the imperative we all have to ensure political and

policy certainty. The President's actions go further to place all South

Africans at significant risk as a result of the fall out of any potential

ratings downgrade.”

Coovadia

adds the position of Finance Minister is a critical one.

“An

effective and credible National Treasury is also important. These institutions

are pivotal to creation of certainty in markets and in management of potential

risks introduced by numerous factors.

“The

action of removing a Minister and a Deputy-Minister who have gained global and

national credibility and were performing optimally under difficult circumstances

raises questions about the rationale for their removal.

“This

further makes it difficult for their successors to conduct their

responsibilities as well. In short, the President's actions have created

increased uncertainty and risk. This is exacerbated by the fact that some

Ministers who have performed very badly and publicity criticised have been

retained.”

Coovadia

also notes that any sovereign downgrade would have a serious impact on banks

and the business sector in general. “It will also undermine our collective

ability to fund social programmes, which will severely and sustainably worsen

the lives of the poorest of the poor in our country.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

 

 

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