NEWS – FINANCE MINISTER MCEBISI JONAS COMES FORWARD

Publication Date: 17/03/2016

The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association) “commends Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas for publicly coming forward on being offered the post of Finance Minister in 2015, other than by the President of the Republic. This took moral courage and fortitude”, say The Banking Association Managing Director, Cas Coovadia.

Deputy Minister Jonas’ announcement confirms a clear and worrisome trend that destabilizes our constitutional democracy and raises serious questions about the credibility of the state, particularly the President, in governing South Africa. This state of affairs makes a difficult economic situation an impossible one!

This inhibits attracting and retaining much needed investment into our economy and detracts from our shared work to reaffirm South Africa as an investment grade destination globally. These are critical requirements in order to address the socio-economic challenges facing our country and achieve higher, more inclusive economic growth.

The banking industry calls on the President to demonstrate authoritative leadership by taking urgent steps to remedy this situation and provide assurances that the Constitutional prerogative of the President to appoint Ministers is not abrogated and relinquished.

We appeal to the governing African National Congress to demonstrate unwavering political leadership at its upcoming National Executive Committee this weekend. “The ANC must resolutely deal with this issue, by taking swift action to prevent its deployees and representatives in Government from being unduly influenced on behalf of the President and the party.” says Coovadia.

It is extremely unfortunate that this is happening when Moody’s Rating Agency is in South Africa, at a time that the banking industry and others are working with Government, business and labour to rebuild confidence in our economy to help avoid a ratings downgrade.

According to Coovadia, “We are now at a national tipping point. We need to restore confidence in South Africa’s capacity to govern effectively and protect the founding constitutional principles of our democracy. As a strategic economic sector that is regulated by Government and its agencies, we expect immediate and earnest action to be taken. At this critical economic and fiscal juncture, we require a collective national effort to ensure that these institutions, especially National Treasury, are secure from undue interference and influence that threatens our economic, fiscal and political stability.”

ENDS

For media enquiries or an interview with the MD please contact

Thenji Nhlapo

Media & Communications Officer

Managing Director’s Office

The Banking Association South Africa

Tel: +27 11 645 6729

Cell: +27 76 791 6918

E-Mail: thenjin@banking.org.za