Political upheavals will not divert the government’s attention from implementing growth policies in South Africa as it battles to stave off potential credit rating downgrades, the Treasury said yesterday. President Jacob Zuma survived an impeachment vote and has faced calls to step down after the constitutional court ruled that he had breached the constitution by ignoring a directive to pay some of the state money spent on renovating his home. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said last week that the political tensions posed a risk to the sovereign credit rating in Africa’s most industrialised economy as they could divert the government’s attention from issues around policy implementation.
But the Treasury said it would not be distracted from its plans to boost growth by the controversy around Zuma. “South Africa is a vibrant democracy with many voices. That does not mean that we will be distracted and sidetracked from the work that we have to do,” Treasury spokesperson Phumza Macanda said in response to questions from Reuters.
“Government appreciates that growth has to be tackled with a sense of urgency. The Minister of Finance is working closely with business to come up with concrete plans that will have a positive impact on growth in the near term and that process is far advanced.”