Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba vowed on Tuesday that he was not quitting his new position, amid anxiety in the country, following a decision of Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global’s to cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status.
“I’m sure that comrade Trevor Manuel in 1996 had taken the events succeeding his appointment, hardly three working days into office, he would have resigned. So no, I’m not resigning. I’m not going anywhere,” Gigaba addressed journalists at the National Treasury in Pretoria.
“I have a job that I have been assigned by the leadership of the movement, and by the president of the country. This is not personal. My assessment of what is being is that those who are not happy, they are not happy about the process relating to the change in the executive, rather than the qualities of the people appointed. It’s not personal, really. I don’t want to attribute it to myself or anything.”
Gigaba was also asked if he had a relationship or if he has spent time with the controversial Gupta family.
He responded: “I have answered this question many times. I have even answered it in Parliament. Have I met them, I’m sure many of you also have at TNA/SABC breakfast briefings or come across them at one point or the other. The same has happened to me. I have met a number of business people at various places for a variety of reasons.”
He emphasised that “meeting somebody does not mean that they have impact on your decisions”. Gigaba said the decisions he made were purely his.
“Ultimately, I take my own decisions. I think probably by now you should know that. So yes, I have met them [the Guptas]. I have been invited a couple of times to Diwali celebrations as I have attended other religious and cultural events at homes of other business people. So to be honest, those things do not impact on my ability to take credible decisions about my work,” said Gigaba.
Calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign have been mounting since the downgrading of South Africa to junk status by ratings agency S&P Global was announced on Monday.
Another rating agency, Moody’s, announced on Tuesday that it has placed the country’s creditworthiness on review.
Zuma fired former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and replaced him with Gigaba late on Thursday.
– African News Agency