JOHANNESBURG – As Pravin Gordhan prepares to deliver his budget speech on Wednesday, the Gauteng ANC has thrown its full weight behind him.
The Finance Minister is under increasing political pressure, with the ANC Youth League on Friday calling him for him to be redeployed, accusing him of being against economic transformation.
Gordhan is said to be facing hostility from some cabinet members for cutting back on their budgets.
It comes amid speculation that the deployment of Brian Molefe as an MP, is the first step in replacing Gordhan with the ex-Eskom CEO.
ANC Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature Brian Hlongwa called for unity yesterday, following a caucus lekgotla.
“We think Minister Pravin Gordhan is being turned into a scapegoat.”
Hlongwa says Gordhan should be given space to do his work, without attacks from ANC structures.
“We think under the challenges that are facing us, not only ourselves in South Africa but given the global economic slowdown, we think he’s doing the best that can be done under the circumstances,” Hlongwa told Power News.
“We are astonished by these unwarranted attacks on the Minister of Finance… We have an economic plan in place and we think we should be pulling together to make sure that we address the main challenges that are facing us – the problems of growing inequality, the high unemployment rate, the problems of poverty. Those are the real issues.”
“We think Minister Pravin Gordhan is being turned into a scapegoat,” Hlongwa said.
On the appointment of Brian Molefe as an MP, Hlongwa said the Gauteng ANC is astonished by the move, and cannot see the logic behind it.