SA economy: Ramaphosa to quell fires?

IOL pic bud2016 cyril ramaphosa REUTERS Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

Cape Town - The ailing economy faces tough times, with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and economy cluster ministers expected to quell the fires in Parliament.

Ramaphosa will tomorrow face tough questions in the National Assembly on how to get the economy back on track and reignite growth.

He has a tough task to sell his plans of reviving non-performing State-Owned Entities (SOEs).

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and other ministers in the cluster will shed more light on how to get the economy out of the woods and go beyond the projected growth of less then one percent.

Gordhan, who is involved in a fight with South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane, will also use the opportunity to address concerns on a possible downgrade.

Yesterday Zuma’s office denied he had taken issue and reiterated support for Gordhan.

Opposition parties warned that South Africa could follow in the footsteps of Brazil, which was downgraded to junk status last week by ratings agency Moody’s, for failing to implement structural reforms in the economy.

The DA’s David Maynier wants Gordhan to produce a turnaround to avoid a ratings downgrade.

In his briefing to the joint committees on finance and appropriations last week Gordhan said the impact of the downgrade would be severe.

There will be increased costs of borrowing.

He called on South Africans to take collective responsibility to protect fiscal consolidation.

The country had a responsibility to advise government on how to get the economy back on track.

Gordhan and Business Unity South Africa President Jabu Mabuza are co-chairing a team that would oversee plans to grow the economy.

The team will report to Zuma in May. Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown are facing questions on improving the performance of SOEs.

One of the measures announced by Gordhan in the Budget last week was the possible merger of SAA and SA Express.


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