Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ALON SKUY
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ALON SKUY

The Editor’s Notebook (“From hardly any debt to financial aid”, August 3) refers. SA entered the 2000s with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 43%, which was reduced to 27% by 2008 under the steady and trusted hands of finance minister Trevor Manuel and president Thabo Mbeki.

On May 10 2009 Jacob Zuma appointed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, and during his first five years in that position the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio increased from 27% to 47%, undoing all the hard work of his predecessor. That was the original sin.

It was no different during Gordhan’s second, shorter stint, during which the increase in the debt ratio accelerated. It has been unstoppable since. Gordhan is now public enterprises minister, and it is evident that he is wholly unsuited for such a position given his insistence on bailing out a hopelessly insolvent state-owned airline, at whatever cost to taxpayers.

Eskom is a story for another day. Gordhan may have good intentions, but the path to hell — or in this case financial ruin — is paved with the same, and SA will be best served if he moves on. He has caused this country enormous damage and will continue to do so as long as he remains in office.

John Fairwell 
Via e-mail

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