Dire implications for the country

2016-09-13 06:00

THE stand-off between Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan and the Hawks has dire implications for our country.

The allegations that the minister knew about a rogue unit that operated within his earlier tenure needs solid evidence and maybe needs to be tested in our courts of law.

If the harassment of the minister continues, the already volatile rand is going to depreciate further, leading to the intensification of poverty. The possibility of a credit rating downgrade to junk status seems probable.

The timing of the investigation, just after the local government elections, seems strategic. This comes at a time after a recent Cabinet lekgotla that gives President Jacob Zuma control over spending in the state-owned enterprises. The actions of the Hawks have once again created uncertainties and instability in the South African financial markets.

When this happens, investors take their money out of the country, putting added pressure on the already volatile rand. The poor are affected the most as a result of increases in commodity prices. The minister needs to be left alone to do his job.

His apex priority is to avoid a downgrade by rating agencies. This cannot be achieved if his mind is unsettled.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has supported the minister, saying his integrity is unquestionable. He has also said that when a government works well, it should not wage war against itself. Let’s hope sanity prevails in the best interests of our country.


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