Cabinet was concerned that the decision by the country’s big four banks to cut ties with the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments would deter investors, planning minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday.
“While cabinet appreciates the terms and conditions of the banks, the acts may deter future potential investors who may want to do business in South Africa,” he told reporters at parliament.
On Thursday, he said mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, labour minister Mildred Oliphant and finance minister Pravin Gordhan had been told to intervene after the banks cut ties with the business.
Standard Bank, First National Bank, Absa, Nedbank, accounting firm KPMG, and Sasfin Capital severed ties with the Gupta-owned firm due to the family’s questionable involvement in the country’s political affairs.
The ministers were expected to report back at the next cabinet meeting in two weeks. He said it was not an investigation, but an intervention.
He refused to comment on reports that Gordhan was not pleased about being assigned the task.
Gordhan had reportedly not attended the meeting where it was decided that he, Zwane and Oliphant should intervene, and had not appreciated being selected.
“I think you’d better ask him,” Radebe said.