Newly appointed Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, has reassured the country he will adapt to his new position.
Gigaba was speaking at the briefing by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) in Pretoria Monday where it was announced it collected over a trillion rand for the 2016/2017 financial year.
Gigaba says the nation must not doubt his ability to run this vital portfolio, saying he’s an experienced politician and well educated.
“So I don’t think anybody should doubt my capacity to adapt and adjust to the new portfolio and I certainly will.”
Gigaba says it’s time for the nation to move on.
“I don’t think we need to be tied to individuals. I, certainly as Malusi Gigaba, was not born to be Minister of Home Affairs.”
The minister was met by cheering Sars employees at the revenue services headquarters and Commissioner Tom Moyane made it clear that he has a good relationship with Gigaba, unlike his relationship with the former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Meanwhile, Treasury has given its first reaction to Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global’s decision to downgrade South Africa to junk status.
S&P has lowered South Africa sovereign credit rating to BB+ or junk status.
This is from BBB minus with money now set to become more expensive for the government to borrow.
The ratings agency says it’s taken the decision on the back of political and institutional uncertainty.
Fears of a downgrade were raised last week already, when President Jacob Zuma announced his Cabinet reshuffle, in which Pravin Gordhan was axed.
S&P says in its opinion, the executive changes initiated by Zuma have put at risk fiscal and growth outcomes.
Treasury says it’s committed to a stable fiscal policy after rating agency S&P Global announced South Africa’s downgrade to junk status citing the recent political developments.
In its statement, Treasury says while the leadership of the finance portfolio has changed, government's overall policy orientation remains the same.
It goes on to say South Africa is committed to a predictable and consistent policy framework, which responds to changing circumstances in a measured and transparent fashion.
Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said: “The issues that they have raised are matters around the political matters. The minister will be announcing the interventions he is going to be making to try and resolve or stabilise the concerns that they have brought up.”