Pretoria – South Africans should blame the country’s credit ratings downgrade on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, former Economic Freedom Fighters treasurer Magdalene Moonsamy said on Tuesday.
Gordhan presided over the country becoming one of the most unequal societies in the world, alongside Brazil, she said at a seminar entitled “Is the post-apartheid state unravelling?”
The discussion centred on inequality, the grip of white-owned monopoly capital on the country, and President Jacob Zuma’s actions over the past few weeks.
“No, the apartheid state is not unravelling; we haven’t been able to unravel the structures that continue to control,” Moonsamy said.
“Not for a moment can we allow ourselves to say that this current dispensation has depleted the state to the point that we have junk status. It was in the hands of a finance administration in the form of a minister. That minister knew that there was a junk status coming.”
She borrowed the words of SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago’s speech on Monday, when he said South Africans must depend on the “weather man”.
“The minister of finance is meant to be the weather man. He is meant to ensure that when the storm is coming, we are ready,” said Moonsamy.
Moonsamy said blacks had suffered under apartheid and were still suffering.
“What we know is that the wealthy are not going to be affected by junk status because they don’t need credit. They are not the facilitators or users of credit. They may be the dispensers of it, but they are not directly involved with the need for it,” she said.
Black First Land First’s Andile Mngxitama welcomed Gordhan’s removal from the post because he opposed Zuma’s quest for “economic liberation”.
“President Zuma is providing direction as to where change should go. He is saying let us move away from all the things we have done now, and let us have radical transformation.”
Mngxitama said Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba would also need to be sacked if he pursued Gordhan’s neo-liberalism.