NEW YORK CITY– South African Deputy Finance Minister Mondi Gungubele, who is here for the second and final leg of an international investor roadshow, says the question of land expropriation without compensation is featuring prominently in discussions with international investors.
He is leading the delegation government, business and labour representatives to New York City, following the delegation’s visit to London earlier this week. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene led the delegation to the roadshow in London.
Gungubele also weighed in on developments at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) ahead of a decision from international rating agency Moody’s Investor Service on a possible further downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating before the end of the month.
The delegation in in New York to give assurances and explain political and economic developments in South Africa with questions around land expropriation without compensation high on the agenda, at least for investors in this part of the world.
It has become an inevitable question in every meeting where we have gone and we understand. But all that we are saying to investors, the worst could have been in a situation where we ignore any emotive issue like land,” Gungubele said.
“This thing moves from 1913 and we adopted a Constitution and that Constitution ensures that there is a clause that deals with it because it is a fundamental issue for either keeping our country together or keeping it apart.”
The roadshow has included meetings with ratings agencies as Moody’s weighs a possible downgrade to junk status later this month. Take into account the discussions we had with them and the frankness and honesty of the South African delegation articulated to them, and the truthfulness of the story we presented to them, with respect and humility, we expect a better view from them.
On whether the resignation of SARS’ senior official Jonas Makwakwa was a sign of things to come for Commissioner Tom Moyane, Gungubele said; It has to be a relationship as crafted in the Constitution and the law, that is the first point.
“Two, we accept that there are challenges in SARS and there are processes to deal with those. We’ll be able to pronounce as Treasury, depending on the outcome on the process that we are putting in place.
Business and labour believe the sentiment towards South Africa has already improved internationally.
All we know is that as Team SA, led by the new Minister of Finance and the new Deputy Minister of Finance, we have done everything that we can, we have been honest, we have been open, we have said these are the opportunities, these are the challenges, this is the task at hand but we have been very explicit by identifying the risks that we have. South Africa has never been in a better space, said the Chief Executive Officer of Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale.
Federation of Unions of South Africa General Secretary Dennis George said: South Africa fought now for this period to make sure that we put the country on a new path, on a path recognizing that many of our people are living in poverty, many of our people are unemployed and our society is totally unequal and that was the most important part of this particular intervention and I think what the ANC (African National Congress, the ruling party) have also elected new leadership that can provide the guidance for our nation because it is critical for our country with so much potential to do much more and is for us important to play that role.
The Moody’s decision on a possible downgrade to junk status follows similar decisions made by the other leading international rating agencies — S and P and Fitch — in 2017.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK