HILARY JOFFE: Malusi Gigaba cannot sweet-talk growth rate
‘The finance minister may have more political support than Pravin Gordhan did, but it comes with more pressure to spend and run up the debt level’
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is a quick study and he has beaten a rapid retreat from his initial April 1 comments, with their focus on radical economic transformation and their critique of Treasury’s orthodox economics and its ties to international investors. As he flies off to this week’s spring meetings in Washington, where he is going to meet a lot of very orthodox and very big-league economists, not to mention a lot of international investors, he is saying all the right things to investors at home. He has emphasised that foreign investment was critical, as was local investment, and that he was working hard to avert further ratings downgrades. He has made reassuring noises about continuity in the Treasury and he has underlined his commitment to staying on the path of fiscal consolidation, promising that the budget deficit will narrow as planned over the next three years.Investors in Johannesburg and in Cape Town evidently wanted to hear a good story, and this one seems to have ...