Cit­i­zens ‘need new con­fi­dence’

• Former min­is­ter ac­cuses Zuma of be­ing cap­tured, says he hopes SA will not end up at IMF with beg­ging bowl

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Su­nita Menon Eco­nom­ics Writer menons@busi­

Former fi­nance min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han on Thurs­day ex­pressed his sup­port for Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as ANC pres­i­dent and called on him to sack Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Pravin Gord­han on Thurs­day said Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and the ANC were cap­tured, and called for Zuma’s re­moval.

Gord­han, who was axed as fi­nance min­is­ter in March and is now an ANC back­bencher, also ex­pressed sup­port for Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to take over when the party elects new lead­er­ship in De­cem­ber.

“The Ramaphosa team must take over in De­cem­ber‚ and in Jan­uary, they must tell Mr Zuma to go and live in Nkandla,” said Gord­han, while speak­ing at an event in Cape Town.

Later, he also said he hoped that SA would not have to take a beg­ging bowl to the IMF.

Speak­ing at a bar­ri­caded ASI Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices event on in­clu­sive growth in Alexan­dra town­ship later on Thurs­day, Gord­han said a cap­tured state could not play a role in cre­at­ing in­clu­sive growth.

Gord­han pro­jected that the medium-term bud­get pol­icy state­ment — sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 25 — may be a re­peat of the dif­fi­cult state­ment he had de­liv­ered after the 2008-09 fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

“Post 2008-09, the fi­nan­cial cri­sis caused us to move from 4% growth to be­low 0% as we lost R50bn to R60bn in rev­enue. I’m com­plain­ing be­cause that’s what we came into,” he said.

“On Oc­to­ber 25, are we go­ing to see a re­peat of what we saw in 2008-09?” he asked.

“I’m hop­ing no one goes to the IMF and asks them to please lend us money,” said Gord­han.

“We’re not a coun­try with­out re­sources, we’re not a coun­try with­out in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

South Africans needed to stop the rot in the pri­vate and the public sec­tors, said Gord­han, who called on Alexan­dra res­i­dents to “toyi-toyi” against the cap­ture of the state.

“If the state is cap­tured, can it play that role? It’s there only to serve nar­row in­ter­ests and the in­ter­ests of a few, what kind of state is it that we have and what kind of democ­racy is it that we have?” asked Gord­han.

“The state plays a very im­por­tant part in the change process in giv­ing dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple lever­age in these bal­ances,” he said.

Gord­han ex­plained that SA’s big­gest con­cerns were mo­nop­o­lies and prod­uct-mar­ket con­cen­tra­tion, say­ing that “there are too few big firms ...”

“Eskom and Transnet are mo­nop­o­lies. Where are those mo­nop­o­lies’ sources and cre­ativ­i­ties be­ing di­rected? Where is it go­ing? I’ll leave that to you to fig­ure out.”

State cap­ture and con­cen­tra­tion of power had shaken con­fi­dence, he said. “We need to cre­ate a new con­fi­dence among both cit­i­zens, who are con­sumers, and busi­nesses, which are in­vestors ... our job is to cre­ate con­fi­dence,” he said.

Trevor Sam­son/ Busi­ness Day

Speak­ing his mind: ANC par­lia­men­tar­ian Pravin Gord­han says state cap­ture and power con­cen­tra­tion have shaken the con­fi­dence of con­sumers and in­vestors. /

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