S.A's Finance Minister Gordhan: A nimble featherweight boxer


Rupert family fund oversubscribed; applications temporarily suspended

Applications for the Rupert family’s R1 billion small business fund, The Sukuma Relief Programme, which opened on Friday, have temporarily been suspended.

EOH Exco chop salaries by 25%; ask staff to cut by 20%

Technology group EOH narrowed its first half loss per share from continuing operations, while group revenue fell 14 per cent and costs rose. EOH CFO, Megan Pydigadu joins CNBC Africa for more.

SA launches green fund to drive investment into SMMEs

R488 million – that’s how much the Green Outcomes Fund has set aside for fund managers to increase investment in green Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises. To discuss the fund - the first of its kind, CNBC Africa is joined by Tine Fisker Henriksen: Innovative Finance Lead, UCT GSB Bertha Centre and Mark van Wyk: Head of Unlisted Investments, Mergence Investment Managers.

For a man on the ropes he looked and sounded in fine fettle – despite the cough that has been troubling him for months. To stretch the metaphor a little further you could argue that when it comes to the interview, these days, South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is like a nimble featherweight boxer. You can swing all night and not lay a glove on him.

This live interview on CNBC Africa, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, was a remarkable event in itself just days before Gordhan’s appearance in court on a fraud charge. Few nations around the world have dragged their finance minister through the courts – fewer still would allow him or her to appear live on TV just days before.

READ: Let me do my job – S.A’s Finance Minister Gordhan

Gordhan may have been late, because of a crucial meeting at cash-strapped South African Airways, but was unflappable with more polish than Kiwi. He comes across as an avuncular sage with calm gestures and the odd point of the figure. He is like your best mate’s uncle with a measured  tone with an almost metronomic uttering of his messages. Gordhan is a smart cookie – he would no longer be in the job if he were not – and he knew this JSE interview took his messages straight to the ears of South African big business in the shape of millionaires Paul Harris, Adrian Gore and Stephen Koseff. Most of the time his answers were addressed to the 200 strong audience.

“Green shoots of recovery are there.”

“We must focus on growth,” he said more than once.  

“There is not a limitless pot of money.”

The most endearing weapon in Gordhan’s arsenal is dry humour, which he uses to deflect and get the people on his side.

“I can’t tell you that the Hawks might find out,” was the answer to a question on who held the purse strings in his household.

He drew the biggest guffaw and applause of the interview when he answered a long question about whether he had the support of his fellows in government with three letters.

“Yes,” he said.

“I was told it was going to be easy,” was his reply to a question about why he took back the Finance Minister’s job in December.

Gordhan refused to speak about his court case, nor his relationship with President Jacob Zuma, but alluded to both. Firstly, he talked of the tale of a wounded buffalo lying between five hungry lions. The punchline is that the lions are so busy quarrelling over which part of the buffalo they will eat that the stricken animal gets up and walks away free.

Growth may be sluggish and an issue in South Africa for years to come. If Gordhan bats away the fraud charge on Tuesday his reputation is likely to grow a lot more rapidly than the economy.        

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Rand hits record low, goes over 19 to dollar as Fitch downgrades SA further into junk status

Last Friday Moody’s, the last rating agency to rate South Africa investment grade, cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk in line with economists’ forecast. Today Fitch further downgraded the country sending the rand plunging over 19 rand to the dollar. Below it gives its reasons...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

Sarb guides banks to put dividends, bonuses on hold

South Africa’s Reserve Bank has guided banks to put dividends and executive bonuses on hold to help reduce stress on the banking sector from fighting Covid19. For more on this recommendation as well as other directives to ensure the health of the sector, CNBC Africa is joined by Unathi Kamlana, Head of Policy Statistics and Industry Support at the Prudential Authority.

Nigerian banking index gains but industrial goods sector declines

Investors are taking a keen interest in banking stocks today but the Industrial goods sector is facing a steep decline. Dare Fajimolu, Chief Research Officer at Blue Vertex joins CNBC Africa for a recap of today’s trade.

Nigeria to tap into its sovereign wealth fund to fight COVID-19 crisis

Nigeria plans to withdraw $150 million from its sovereign wealth fund as part of its fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Michael Ango, the Associate Director; Tax Advisory and Regulatory Services at Andersen Tax joins CNBC Africa to assess Nigeria's response to the pandemic.

South African COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund open for applications

In a bid to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on South Africa’s tourism sector, the Department of Tourism is urging eligible small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to apply for a share of the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund.
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -