SA could have doubled social grants - Gordhan on suggested R100bn stolen

2017-08-03 21:36
Former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)

Former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan says he was surprised by the scale of state capture revealed through the #GuptaLeaks, saying South Africa could have doubled social grants with the suggested R100bn stolen.

Gordhan and his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas were speaking at a panel discussion at a Daily Maverick media event in Cape Town on Thursday.

The former minister said there were obvious hints of thieving during his time, but even he was surprised by the scale of the project revealed in the emails.

"The fact that petty thieving might have been happening at one or other level may have been going on," he said.

"But the earlier panel was asked, what's the number? I tried to ask the same thing.

"Some are saying about R100bn might have disappeared. That's approximately 8.5% to 9% of government expenditure."

Gordhan said the country could have doubled social grants for a year with that money. South Africa spends roughly R110-R120bn a year on social grants.

State credibility 

He slammed those in government who seemed not to care about the effects of the losses. "And that 'don't care factor' is a dangerous stage to reach as a country," he said.

Gordhan said the majority of his ANC comrades support the pair.

It was only a few individuals who did not like what they have been saying recently.

Jonas meanwhile said he nearly jumped when ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu suggested at an earlier panel that the state introduce a media appeals tribunal to monitor the work of the media.

"Deal with the credibility of the state first. Deal with the credibility of the ruling party second," Jonas said to applause.

Gordhan said that if leadership could not move the country in the way it needed to, the rest of the country needs to move itself.

He said civil society must band together to be more active in the affairs of the country. People must also ask what type of ANC they want.

"Every single day we allow the current trajectory to continue, huge damage is being built."

Read more on:    pravin gordhan  |  mcebisi jonas  |  gupta leaks  |  state capture

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