I'm not indispensable, says Gordhan - TechCentral

I’m not indispensable, says Gordhan

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan, left, with deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan said he is “not indispensable” as he prepares to present the annual budget following almost a year of speculation that he might lose his job.

“We are just humble civil servants,” Gordhan said in an interview with broadcaster eNCA on Monday after being asked about rumours that he and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas may be replaced by President Jacob Zuma.

Gordhan will give his full-year budget speech on Wednesday in Cape Town.

Speculation that Gordhan may be fired has been renewed by an announcement that the ruling party will install Brian Molefe, the former CEO of Eskom, as a lawmaker this week, possibly ahead of his appointment to cabinet.

Gordhan has been at loggerheads with Zuma over the running of state companies and the affordability of nuclear power since shortly after the president was pressured to reappoint him to the position in December 2015 after a backlash caused by a decision to name Des van Rooyen, a then little-known lawmaker, as finance minister.

Jonas has said the Gupta family, who are friends of Zuma and in business with the president’s son, offered him the top finance ministry post in exchange for business concessions.

The family denies the allegation.

Jonas said in the same interview on Monday he is “ready for any eventuality” regarding his own role in the government.

“Treasury is an institution and ministers come and go,” he said. “We hope that the capacity embedded within the institution will be sustained.”  — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

2 Comments

  1. Interesting to see whether PG dares to pronounce a bit of his own ideas in the budget, or he stays on the tight leash of the Lord of Nkandla and Uncle Gwede. I bet on the latter. He remained reined in all the the last years.

  2. “We are just humble civil servants” – and that’s the rub. Pravin and his team serve civil society while JZ and the majority of ANC public servants serve their own interests.