Treasury would do better without 'noise' surrounding Gordhan - director general

2016-05-27 19:05
Nastional Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile. (Supplied)

Nastional Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – We should make sure our discourse does not undermine our ability to attract investment, National Treasury Director General Lungisa Fuzile told News24 on Friday.

Fuzile said the Treasury would do better to attract investors without the "noise" surrounding his boss, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"We would certainly do better without those noises. We want to be attractive to investment. We should make sure our discourse does not undermine our ability to attract investment," he said.

When asked if he could elaborate on what he meant by "noise", Fuzile said: "It's a whole host of noises, that you don't even know off."

His comment comes on the heels of a statement from the Presidency which condemned what it called a "toxic narrative" in the media about a war between President Jacob Zuma and Gordhan.

Fuzile echoed the Presidency's views, saying that Gordhan had made it clear that, like all ministers, he was serving at the pleasure of the president.

"It is very important to underline that the budget Gordhan has tabled and many things he has led, he has been doing them with government on behalf of government, with the support of his colleagues, in particular the president as the chief executive. He has made this point that like all ministers he is serving at the pleasure of the president so these issues do not arise," he said.

Political go-ahead

Earlier on Friday, the Presidency called on "information peddlers" to stop spreading what it called "false rumours", and to give the country the space to focus on uniting the nation behind the goal of re-igniting growth in order to preserve and create jobs in the current difficult economic climate.

The Sunday Times reported two weeks ago that the Hawks wanted Gordhan and eight others charged for alleged illicit intelligence gathering and spying on taxpayers during his time as Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009.

A so-called "rogue unit" within Sars was allegedly responsible for this. The Hawks and NPA were reportedly waiting for "political go-ahead" before arresting him, the paper reported.

In December last year, Zuma replaced respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene with ANC backbencher David van Rooyen. Following a public outcry, Zuma replaced Van Rooyen with Gordhan and made Van Rooyen co-operative governance minister.

Insiders reportedly said that ANC leaders had given Gordhan a mandate to do whatever needed to be done to prevent South Africa from being downgraded to junk status.

In February it was reported that Gordhan had told Zuma shortly before his Budget speech that he would resign if he did not remove Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, as he could not work with him.

Later that same month, Zuma told reporters that Van Rooyen was the most qualified finance minister he had ever appointed, prompting speculation of tension between Zuma and Gordhan.

Read more on:    treasury  |  lungisa fuzile  |  pravin gor­dhan  |  government

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