The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber President Ian Nicholls had the following to say about this mornings 00h30 announcement of a Cabinet Reshuffle:
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, 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.
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, concluded Nicholls.
President Jacob Zuma made the following changes to the National Executive:
- Minister of Energy, Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi
- Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi
- Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba
- Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula
- Minister of Public Works, Nathi Nhleko,
- Minister of Sports and Recreation, Thembelani Nxesi
- Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa
- Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi
- Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize
- Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo
- Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
- Deputy Minister of Finance, Sifiso Buthelezi
- Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Ben Martins
- Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu
- Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Gratitude Magwanishe
- Deputy Minister of Communications, Thandi Mahambehlala,
- Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe
- Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi
- Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
- Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Nomathemba November.
President Zuma said; “The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise.”
“I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality,” the President said in a statement in the very early hours of Friday morning.
“I wish to extend my gratitude to the outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to the country. I also wish the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers the best in their new responsibilities,” the President said.
The DA responded by saying; “The last straw: Zuma must go!”
Daniel Johnson, Spokesperson to Dr Ivan Meyer Minister of Finance in the Western Cape Legisltue said:
President Jacob Zuma must go immediately, because this blatant attack on one of the last national institutions with credibility, the National Treasury, is completely unacceptable.
The National Treasury is mandated to:
- Promote the national government’s fiscal policy framework and the coordination of macro-economic policy.
- Coordinate intergovernmental financial and fiscal relations
- Manage the budget preparation process
- Exercise control over the implementation of the annual national budget, including any adjustments to the budget
- Facilitate the implementation of the annual Division of Revenue Act
- Monitor the implementation of provincial budgets
- Promote and enforce transparency and effective management in respect of revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of departments, public entities and constitutional institutions; and
- Perform the other functions assigned to the National Treasury in terms of this Act.
Section 5(1)(a) states that the Minister of Finance is the HEAD of the Treasury.
Section 11(1) states that the National Treasury is in charge of the National Treasury Fund.
This explains exactly why the Minister of Finance was fired. The Minister must give stability and provide leadership to grow the economy and create jobs. Now that the Minister of Finance has been relieved of his duties, it will have far reaching consequences for the credibility of our system of public administration. There are clear, malicious intentions behind the Minister of Finance as Head of the National Treasury being dismissed. The fact that it has now been done so blatantly and openly is telling. This matter goes far beyond just the Ministry of Finance. It is now an open attack on the people of South Africa and all taxpayers.
Corruption is now in the Autobahn in South Africa. We must, instead, place project Save South Africa in the Autobahn and unite to protect our own future and our constitutional democracy.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) expressed outrage and will seek legal action on the cabinet reshuffle.
This action lacks democratic rationale and is not done with the best interests of the country at heart. It is clear other interests have dictated the president’s actions and that South Africa as a nation will be poorer as a result. This will come as a major blow to our fragile economy as a ratings downgrade is surely imminent.
“It is time for Civil Society and the business community to take a stand to use every lawful means possible to bring the necessary pressure to reinstate Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance, and persuade President Zuma to step down.” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA Chairperson. “We cannot let the personal intrests of one man hold the people of South Africa to ransom.”
OUTA, with other civil society organisations, is exploring legal action and will persuade influential people in authority to support this objective. The time for effective civil intervention has arrived and civil society needs to take a stand for the benefit of all in our country.
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