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Pityana hits out at Zuma over his 'disastrous' leadership

Sep 15 2016 18:44
Tshidi Madia

Johannesburg – Moody’s decision to put four state-owned entities (SOEs) on a downgrade review is further evidence of the increasingly "disastrous effects" of President Jacob Zuma’s leadership on the South African economy, said businessman and long serving member of the ANC Sipho Pityana.

“It’s quite clear, listening to their reasons they have a problem with governance and a problem with the political environment. We would be foolish to think they wouldn’t come to that conclusion. This is what we have been arguing about relating to the leadership of president Zuma, he represents political uncertainty,” Pityana told News24 in a one on one interview from his offices in Johannesburg.

He said some of the developments around treasury and the SOE’s probably left investors worried about Zuma’s intentions.

READ: I lose sleep over attempts to remove Gordhan – Sipho Pityana

“You say to the international community, investors 'I am now taking over oversight of state owned entities', but you have been found to be lacking trust and integrity," said Pityana.

"Taking the oversight away from people in your cabinet who have far greater integrity than you do, leaves investors very very concerned about your intentions.”


Pityana said promises had been made by government, business and labour to restore order and stabilise SOEs.

“We even went on road shows and said we are going to deal with SOEs but now this has moved in the opposition direction, there is an even greater crisis in those institutions,” he said.

What are we saying to the international community?

Pityana said the president needed to consider the message he was communicating to the global economy, taking issue with the president’s claims that nothing is wrong with SOE’s or the country’s policy direction.

“Someone who is questioned about their management of SAA is being returned there, how do we expect the international community to take us seriously. How are you sending a signal to the international community that you are being serious when you take decisions like this?” he asked.

READ: BBC's endorsement of Zuma a betrayal - Pityana

The long serving ANC member also warned that although Moody’s just said the SOEs are on review it does suggest that in order for a downgrade to be avoided the situation needs to be remedied. He also believes business and other sectors could play a substantial role in this regard.

“Business needs to stand together with other sectors of society to demand a leadership that is transparent, accountable and free from corruption. The first step in that process is to demand that Zuma step down as President, before it’s too late.”

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