Malusi Gigaba.  Picture: THE TIMES
Malusi Gigaba. Picture: THE TIMES

It is difficult to take Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba seriously after he put aside a meeting with the country’s business leaders to attend an ANC conference. The country’s economic situation is clearly not a priority for him.

At a Black Management Forum dinner last week, Gigaba rebuked the black middle class for criticising the government and called them "cowards". His emphasis on the need for radical economic transformation is not clearly understood, yet it got deafening applause from the delegates.

He said that radical economic transformation had failed in the past 23 years and created a situation in which "racially exclusive political and social forces defeated in 1994 [are] continuing to hold political and economic sway".

It is incumbent on Gigaba to spell out the meaning of "radical economic transformation".

The inner circle of President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet has already profited enormously from corruption, and the proceeds of this malfeasance could have been used to uplift the previously disadvantaged.

SA is in recession. This is definitely not caused by a "historical problem of a lopsided structure" where black people are not key players in value chains as enunciated by Gigaba.

The ratings agencies have cited evidence of systemic corruption and rising public debt, and warned of further downgrades.

Surely, the minister should focus on ameliorating the ratings agencies by ditching his partisan drivel, calculated to influence ANC popularity.

Nathan CheimanNorthcliff

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