Following Standard and Poor’s’ announcement it had downgraded South Africa to sub-investment grade on Monday, people have taken to social media to express their opinion on the news.
One such is Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie who, in a series of tweets, has criticised the rating agency and the president’s Cabinet reshuffle last week.
On the reshuffle, McKenzie said people in South Africa only complained when a black person was appointed to a higher position because they didn’t believe in black leadership.
“First you complained about Brain [sic] Molefe, now you’re complaining about Malusi Gigaba, is there really no Black in your opinion fit for such a post?”
Gigaba was smart and was not confused about the task ahead of him as finance minister, he said.
In fact, those ministers who threatened to resign should not change their minds, said McKenzie, who further said they threatened to resign as if they had delivered young people out of poverty.
“Hope the blue lights, bodyguards, free housing, free business class flights etc will not make those that threatened to resign change their minds,” he said.
On the downgrade and Pravin Gordhan’s sacking, McKenzie said the president did the right thing by firing him as he was “a candidate for the monied class”.
This is why South Africa has been downgraded to junk status, he said, because “big money supports whoever safeguard [sic] & promote their financial interest”.
“Zuma is doing what both Mandela and Thabo feared to do, he has declared war against WMC [white monopoly capital], say what you like.”
It was not the end of the world for South Africa to be downgraded, he said, since “Turkey went through it late last year, and costs of funding in dollars rose by around half a percentage points [sic]”.
He further urged South Africans not to be misled by an agency that was fined R26 billion for its “role in fake ratings”.
The only rating South Africans should care about was the ballot paper in the next election.
“Real revolutionaries do not acknowledge rating agencies, they never justify stance taken by such imperialistic agencies nor are they bothered.”
S&P said on Monday that it was their opinion that “the executive changes initiated by President Zuma have put at risk fiscal and growth outcomes”.
It emerged on Monday that the ANC’s integrity commission, chaired by one of the last two living members of the Rivonia trial following the death of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada last week, would meet with Zuma and ask him for a second time to step down.
The reshuffle has divided the party, with even top-six senior ANC leaders Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize voicing their displeasure at the reshuffle – most specifically the axing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, two of the formerly most trusted cabinet members in many circles.