South Africa’s Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has urged the country’s public servants to uphold the constitution and the bill of rights in their discharge of duties.
In his official opening remarks at the Public Finance Management Conference in Sandton on Monday, Gordhan said the country’s public servants needed foresight in decision making and think for generations ahead and not of their selfish interests.
“The choices we make as policymakers and as politicians influence the short- and medium-term prospects of our country,” said Gordhan.
“If we don’t do the right things today, then there will be consequences for the next generation tomorrow,” warned Gordhan.
The conference is also set to address issues of procurement and cost cutting. These are some of issues at the heart of the much anticipated credit rating downgrade the country is battling to avoid.
One of the credit ratings agencies Moody’s recently left South Africa with a negative outlook calling on the government to address growth issue and political uncertainties.
[READ: South Africa's rand falls as positive sentiment after Moody's decision fades]
“Good financial management is critical to the sustenance of any organisation. Effective financial management will ensure that South Africa achieves reform needs,” said acting Accountant General, Jayce Nair.
“Credible financial management is at the heart of modernising financial management and to realise this, there is need for skilled manpower and people with academic qualifications,” he added.
The European Union ambassador, Marcus Cornaro, also attending the conference, hailed South Africa’s conduct in public finance management but urging the country to do more.