Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told Treasury staff to “forget all the noise outside” as he believes the negative reaction to his appointment will pass.
The former Home Affairs minister’s statement comes as Save SA continues its “occupation of Treasury” outside his headquarters in Pretoria on Church Square and following rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrade of South Africa’s sovereign bonds to non-investment grade, or junk status.
“Forget all the noise outside.
“Do your jobs. What you see and hear will pass.
“Change brings with it such anxieties,” Treasury quoted him as saying on Twitter on Tuesday.
His speech occurred in front of staff, who were gathered in the old Reserve Bank building in Pretoria to hear their new leader’s vision for Treasury.
Staff sat cross-armed and silent, a stark comparison to their singing of “Senzenina”(What have we done) and the national anthem in the very same room on Friday, as former Finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, were about to address them.
Ever since Nhlanhla Nene was fired as their minister in 2015, civil servants at Treasury knew their strong ideals and ethics would once again be challenged with a leader that may bring a different set of ideals. The rise of the narrative of “radical economic transformation”, the proposed nuclear deal and the perception of Treasury being a “Dr No” adds to this uncertainty.