Zuma is playing Russian roulette with economy - DA

2015-12-14 06:42
President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

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Pretoria- President Jacob Zuma is playing Russian roulette with the country’s economy, the DA said on Sunday.

The party said Zuma’s announcement of Pravin Gordhan as the new minister of finance, four days after appointing David van Rooyen to the position, was a sign and admission that he was reckless and irrational in firing Nhlanhla Nene.

“President Zuma has been playing Russian roulette with our economy and future as a country over the past five days. Our currency has reached record lows, our banks have lost billions on the JSE [Johannesburg Stock Exchange] and the confidence of investors and ratings agencies has plummeted,” the party said in a statement.

“It is common sense to have in Cabinet a proven finance minister who brings fiscal discipline to the government. And we trust Minister Gordhan will continue to hold the line of former Minister Nene in respect of SAA and the nuclear build procurement deal.”

The Presidency confirmed on Sunday that the two ministers would be swapping seats. Van Rooyen was appointed on Wednesday and sworn on Thursday after Nene was unceremoniously removed. His appointment sent the markets on a downward spiral with the rand plummeting to its lowest mark in years.

- READ: SA reels from three finance ministers in one week

The party said while it saw the appointment of Gordhan, who was previously finance minister before being made minister of co-operative governance, as a move to restore some confidence in South Africa’s economy, it appeared as though the announcement was merely a result of Zuma having to bow to internal pressure.

“The cost of Jacob Zuma to our country has now reached its ceiling. Our country cannot continue to be led by a flip-flopping president who has complete disregard for the well-being of the country and its citizens.

“It is quite clear that the president did not anticipate the damage his decision would do to South Africa’s economy nor the backlash he would receive both from the public and from inside the tripartite alliance," the DA said.

The party added that the decision vindicated reports that Nene was removed because of his standing firm on the SAA Airbus deal on top of trying to delay the nuclear build procurement deal.

“It is very evident that Wednesday evening’s announcement was all about Jacob Zuma and not about what was in the best interests of South Africa. There was no need for South Africa to have had to endure the effects of the poor, irrational decision made on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it is the poor and unemployed who will bear the brunt of what the president has done,” said the party.

Read more on:    pravin gordhan  |  jacob zuma  |  economy

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