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Ramaphosa to woo Treasury's budget chief to return

Nov 14 2017 07:30
Amanda Khoza

Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night said it was "most unfortunate" that long-time budget head Michael Sachs had decided to resign from National Treasury.

Ramaphosa said "hopefully he can be persuaded to come back".

"I am going to be able to have a discussion with the minister of finance to see how best we can continue to stabilise Treasury," said Ramaphosa.

He said he wants to ensure there is "greater stability and for the people that are skilled and knowledgeable to continue to do their work".

Ramaphosa answered a question about Sachs' resignation during a lecture at the ANC Johannesburg region economic colloquium at the Orlando East Communal Hall on Monday evening.

"This is a key official who is the head of the budget office. The budget office in our economy is the most important office because that is the office that drafts the budget of our country," he said.

The deputy president said Sachs "knew everything about everything that has everything to do with the budget".

"If you were to ask him how much money has been allocated to a clinic in Orlando, he would give you the figure instantly from the top of his head. If you were to ask him how many old age pensioners can receive their pension in Mthatha, he will be able to tell you."

Sachs even knew how many schools were going to be built this year and what the budget allocation was for those schools, said Ramaphosa.

"It is most unfortunate that he has chosen to resign and he is resigning because of the instability that he perceives at that department."

Alleged interference by Presidency

According to a Fin24 report, two sources close to Treasury said that Sachs, a deputy director-general who headed up the budget office, quit last week over interference by the Presidency.

The issue of free higher education, that is allegedly being steamrolled by Zuma, has apparently pushed Sachs, a Treasury veteran of ten years, to resign.

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