On behalf of Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber President Ian Nicholls
The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber notes with deep concern the reshuffling of Cabinet, and the subsequent axing of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Whilst we acknowledge that the President has a constitutional right to appoint and dismiss Cabinet Ministers, this decision must be exercised in the interest of the country, and not for the promotion of any sectoral interest. Given the prevailing circumstances, the decision to dismiss some very experienced and widely respected leaders is highly questionable.
We are deeply concerned by the negative impact the reshuffle has already had on investor confidence, as evidenced by the significant decline in the value of the Rand.
From the Nenegate losses suffered in December 2015, we know that this latest political move will have a lasting and detrimental effect on our economy. It is difficult, if not impossible to understand how the latest changes to the cabinet can be in the best interest of the country.
Given the current uncertainty, global and local investor sentiment is rapidly declining. This situation cannot be allowed to continue as it directly affects South Africa’s credit rating prospects, threatens the reputation of National Treasury and overall has the potential to have a serious impact on our country’s economy.
As organised business, we call on the President to act in the best interest of all its citizens, business and other stakeholders in the broader community. The loss of investor confidence not only impacts upon business, but upon consumers who will have decreased buying power, the decimation of savings and pensions as well as job creation.
While the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is a non-political body, we cannot condone the latest actions by the President – given the potential serious negative impact this will have upon our country’s economy.
South Africa needs to be the priority, not any personal or political agendas.