ANC tells Gordhan, Sars to make peace

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg)
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg)

Johannesburg - The ANC once again said it stood behind Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and called for a resolution to be found between him and the SA Revenue Service.

"The NEC directs that there should be a speedy resolution of the unseemly public spats between the finance minister and public agencies," secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Pretoria, following the party's national executive committee meeting over the weekend.

The relationship between Sars commissioner Tom Moyane and Gordhan was reported to be tense, with reports earlier this month saying Gordhan threatened to resign shortly before his budget speech. This came after he received a list of 27 questions from the Hawks investigating the operation of a “rogue unit” at Sars.

Gordhan was a commissioner at Sars at the time when a covert unit was allegedly established.

Gordhan had only been back in the position of finance minister since December, when Nhlanhla Nene was suddenly removed and replaced by backbencher Des van Rooyen.

READ: Gloves off between Gordhan and 'disruptors'

Van Rooyen's appointment was met with outrage from some quarters and Gordhan took over when Van Rooyen was sent to the cooperative governance and traditional affairs ministry.

But no sooner had Gordhan settled in, then the Hawks' questions arrived. He was preparing his budget speech at the time, and was also trying to reassure investors about South Africa as a possible downgrade loomed. 

On Sunday, the ANC stood firmly behind Gordhan and said it was confident the country would still attract further investments.

"[The ANC] affirms its full confidence in the Minister of Finance and applauds the work of the President and the Minister to boost confidence in the South African economy, attract investments and avoid further downgrades," Mantashe said.

READ: Gordhan: World’s investors are watching SA closely

He also highlighted the need for state-owned entities to adhere to the principles of good governance, perform optimally, to pursue financial viability and their developmental mandate.

It called on the government to "rapidly" resolve the challenges facing the South African Airways board, in particular.

"Accordingly, the NEC expressed particular concern about the financial viability of South African Airways, continued governance challenges that have undermined its stability and competitiveness as well as its ability to pursue its turnaround strategy as adopted by Cabinet in 2013.

"Consequently, the NEC urged the government to rapidly resolve challenges facing the Board of SAA," Mantashe said.

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