Put SA first, pleads BASA's Cas Coovadia

Cape Town - The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) expressed deep concern over President Jacob Zuma's decision to recall Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from the international investor roadshow.

"This action by the Presidency rolls back the progress we have made as a country. It also militates against the imperative of ensuring political and policy certainty," said BASA MD Cas Coovadia.

Gordhan, who was already on the UK leg of the roadshow will arrive back in South Africa tomorrow, while Jonas, who was set to fly to the US later, will not leave the country.  

"We appeal that the Presidency and all critical stakeholders to act in the best interests of the country by avoiding precipitate actions that have significant negative impact on economic growth and social development."

Coovadia said these roadshows are meticulously planned and form an integral part of the post-Budget calendar.

"Roadshows such as this one provide an important opportunity for South Africa to update investors about recent policy developments and reassure them that our economy remains a good investment destination."

He said business, government and labour has made significant progress in the last 18 months in building confidence in the country among investors and rating agencies. "These roadshows are an essential element of building confidence."

Another potential outcome of Zuma's action could be a consideration by rating agencies to downgrade SA to sub-investment grade status, Coovadia warned.

"This would be very negative for banks and other corporates, whose ratings would follow the sovereign."  

There has been speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards, with Gordhan and/or Jonas facing the axe.

Read more on Gordhan:

Zuma to pander to NEC and keep Gordhan - analyst

Zuma joins Gupta court battle to file motion against bank

Gupta-owned Sahara files papers over Gordhan attorney

Gordhan's dramatic recall 'highly embarrasing' - analysts

Zuma hell-bent on breaking SA - Fedusa

Rand now at R12.70/$ on Gordhan saga

Dramatic shift in Gordhan's risk of getting the chop - economist

Rand plummets as Presidency cans Gordhan roadshow

Sipho Pityana: Gordhan recall is 'economic sabotage'

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