18 April 2017

South Africa: Deputy President Supports Finance Minister Ahead of Visit

Pretoria — Deputy President Cyril Ramphosa says he is supportive of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his team who are heading to the United States of America (USA) for the forthcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring Meetings.

On Tuesday in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba briefed Deputy President Ramaphosa on his scheduled visit which will also include further interactions with rating agencies.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on reform of state-owned enterprises (SOE).

"Well the Minister (Gigaba) is going to the Spring IMF meetings and this (today's meeting) is a continuous internal government briefings about what the Minister is going to be doing. We are very very supportive of the Minister and his team as they are going to showcase South Africa to the world.

"Particularly as the new Minister this is really great and exciting for us because the world will be seeing the new Minister and team that has always handled these matters. This is great and this is what we were talking about," Deputy President Ramaphosa said.

The Deputy President and Minister Gigaba reiterated South Africa's commitment to inclusive growth, poverty alleviation and speedy reform of state owned enterprises.

The meeting follows the recent briefing by Minister Gigaba to domestic investors as well as the NEDLAC Special Executive Committee chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa held in Johannesburg recently.

The NEDLAC meeting was held to assess and respond to the current challenges facing South Africa following the recent decisions of two rating agencies to downgrade the country to sub-investment grade.

Building upon past experiences particularly in dealing with the 2008 global economic crisis, the NEDLAC meeting expressed confidence in the ability of the social partners - government, business, labour and communities - collectively to act together and constructively assist the country to mitigate the impact of the downgrade.

A high level NEDLAC task team to be briefed by National Treasury was established and will meet regularly to co-ordinate South Africa's all-round efforts to respond to the current challenges.

South Africa

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