What new Finance Minister Des van Rooyen said

This is a snippet of what new Finance Minister David Douglas “Des” van Rooyen said during a debate in Parliament, where he occupied the back benches until this week.

During a debate on a credit ratings downgrade, he referred to Moody’s rating as “junk” and said the ANC would not sacrifice its policies “on the altar of market liberalism”.

Tuesday, August 26 2014

“There is nowhere in the Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s [reports] where corruption was cited as the key cause of the downgrade. That’s a pure lie.

“So don’t come here and take a chance because you are always seeking negativity, even where [there is none].

“On Friday, June 13 2014, when Standard & Poor’s downgraded South Africa’s foreign credit rating by a notch to BBB negative, Standard & Poor’s justified its decision by stating the following: ‘The fiscal deficit is ever increasing at a rate that is unsustainable.’

“To respond positively to this perceived weakness in a manner that would satisfy Standard & Poor’s, it states that the government will have to desist from borrowing funds to develop capital goods and focus on paying back what is owed.

“We disagree.

“In essence, what is demanded by Standard & Poor’s is that we should have a balanced balance sheet and ignore the mandate that our people have given the ANC to improve the quality of their lives; that what counts is repaying of the debt above anything else.

“We can’t agree with this.

“Classically, this is how they have dealt with African countries.

“We agree with those who refer to the recent Moody’s rating as ‘junk’.

“Therefore, the solution cannot be in how to avoid the economic tactics of the Standard & Poor’s and the Moody’s of this world that seek to employ pain-and-reward tactics to control the agenda of the developing states.

“We are not going to succumb to this.

“The solution that must be driven by us as the ruling party is how to ensure that the quality of life of our people is not sacrificed on the altar of market liberalism.” 

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