Gigaba says government committed to playing hardball on State Capture


Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- Malusi Gigaba, the minister of finance in SA said the government has demonstrated its resolve to confront allegations of state capture and corruption through the judicial commission of inquiry and the investigations being conducted by the Hawks, Asset Forfeiture Unit and other agencies.

Delivering his budget speech in parliament on Wednesday, Gigaba said the government would respond swiftly to the prevailing environment of eroding public trust.

“All of us who have the honour to serve as public representatives and officials should be prepared to subject ourselves to public scrutiny. We have demonstrated our resolve by strengthening Eskom’s board and management with highly capable, ethical and credible leadership. This leadership has hit the ground running to turn the utility around, by decisively addressing outstanding governance concerns and restoring the confidence of stakeholders to stick with it as it improves its performance and sustainability,” he said.

He suggested that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intervention this week to restore dialogue on mining policy raises hope that a solution will be found to unlock growth and transformation in this critical sunrise sector.

“All stakeholders should be encouraged by the president’s intervention and commitment to set the industry on a new path of investment, inclusive growth and transformation. We, therefore, welcome the Chamber of Mines’ postponement of their court action as they join this new process. Our resolve to ensure the sustainability of the nation’s finances will become evident today, as we table a budget which carefully balances a variety of important priorities, including social investment and protection, economic investment, and the need to stabilize the growth in public debt,” he said.

He explained that after several years during which economic growth undershot government’s projections, there was now improved growth projections for 2018 and subsequent years as a floor, rather than a ceiling.

“We are convinced that as business and consumer confidence return, and as government follows through on its commitments to enable growth with prudent, fast and decisive action, we can exceed our growth projections,” he said.