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Gordhan to make tough calls to rescue economy

Gordhan assured SA that govt will stick to spending targets & won't be reckless with its fiscal policies.

New Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan addressed the media flanked by his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and the Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago in Pretoria. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says he is prepared to make some tough calls in order to help rescue the country's economy.

At a briefing yesterday, Gordhan moved to assure the country that government will stick to spending targets and won't be reckless with its fiscal policies.

He has been reappointed to head up the National Treasury for a second stint.

Gordhan replaces David van Rooyen who spent just four days in that portfolio.

WATCH: _New finance minister allays fears over SA's economy _

Van Rooyen was brought in by President Jacob Zuma after the shocking dismissal of Nhlanhla Nene last week, a move that sparked outrage amongst South Africans and a bloodbath on the markets.

Gordhan says he is ready for a difficult task ahead of him.

"I've got a job to do and I look forward to working with all South Africans so that after the new year celebrations, we get down to the business of growing our economy, creating jobs and becoming increasingly inclusive."

He says he knows various departments will be asking for more money, but adds he's going to be tough.

"Two things determine what we can do; one is what is your current cash availability and how are we all going to grow in a very inclusive way so that we create jobs and get more revenue. The more revenue we get, we can pay off some of our debt and have a bit more fiscal space."

WATCH: _Markets react to musical chairs at Finance Department _

SARS DRAMA

Meanwhile, the minister slammed auditing firm KPMG over a leaked report which reportedly recommends he be investigated for his role in the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) rogue spy unit sag a.

The national research group within Sars has been accused of being used to spy on high profile politicians, but the Finance Department says its role has been exaggerated.

Gordhan is accused of extending Ivan Pillay's contract three years before it expired.

According to the reported KPMG leak, Pillay established the unit.

A visibly angry Gordhan told journalists yesterday that the accusations against him are unfair as he has not seen the leaked report.

"The allegations have no foundation based on leaked documents that even I haven't seen… So tell me, how would you like to be accused of something on the basis of a document that hasn't been put to you, or a basis of questions that haven't been put to you?"

He says it's also unfair to expect him to have known.

"KPMG's got a cheek to say 'he doesn't know anything about it', according to what I read, 'but he should have known'. Wow, I thought forensic people are supposed to come up with facts."

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas says the Sars report is still in its draft stages and responses from the people mentioned in it must still be sought.