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Gordhan speaks out on patronage, corruption

Aug 24 2016 22:23
Matthew le Cordeur

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Rumble in the Urban Jungle at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town on Wednesday evening. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur).

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Cape Town - Hours after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan revealed the charges the Hawks were seeking to bring against him, he said politics, power and rent seeking go together and South Africa needs to reform the system of patronage.

“We need to keep enough of a spotlight on it and ensure we remain honest,” he said during the second Rumble in the Jungle in Cape Town.

He added: “I don’t know whether I did the right thing taking this job?”

The event by the Cape Chamber of Commerce saw Gordhan debating against political commentator Justice Malala.

Gordhan received a standing ovation by the Cape Town business community, who see the minister as South Africa’s hope of avoiding a credit downgrade to junk status.

Turning to the 0% increase for university fees in 2017, he said: “There will be enough funds for the university student if we stop the corruption. Even if we cut corruption by 25%, we will have at least R40m to spend on university fees for the poor.” 

Story continues below photo of Gordhan...

HOW THE STORY UNFOLDED:

Hawks summon Pravin Gordhan - report
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SA assets sink after Hawks summon Gordhan
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JSE financials reel as Gordhan probe escalates
FULL STATEMENT: Why Gordhan won't meet the Hawks
Open letter to President Jacob Zuma: Hands off Gordhan
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Malema: No reason to panic, Gordhan not guilty


Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaking at the Westin on Wednesday night. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

Gordhan wanted to convey a message of hope, saying South Africa was better than many counterparts around the world.

“Applaud these wonderful officials we have in Treasury and other civil servants,” he said. “We are just 23 years young, we are building a country, we are building a nation, it will take time. It took European countries many years, we are still very young.”

Answering Malala’s challenge about how he would solve the crisis where 8.9 million South Africans don’t have jobs in South Africa, he said SA needs a sharing model and trust.

“The sharing model or the solidarity model is a major challenge we need to take on as a globe,” he said. “We need to be more agile and don’t think the state will give us this magic 5% growth. We need an inclusive economy.

“The second message is trust, or a lack of trust. We don’t trust those elites, which include business.”

He said that unless there is investment in our economy there will be no jobs. He pointed to the green shoots in the economy as a sign of hope. “Economists are seeing green shoots such as manufacturing and mining, which have been performing better.”

AUDIO: Gordhan speaks out on why he won't obey Hawks command

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaking at the Westin on Wednesday night. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaking at the Westin on Wednesday night. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

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