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Gordhan calls for political differences to be set aside

Pravin Gordhan wants the country’s interests put first, before party political or election interests.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan' s called for political differences to be set aside in the interests of avoiding a downgrade to junk status.

Ratings agency Moody's cited concerns over political instability in Brazil as one reason for the country losing investment-grade status yesterday.

Briefing Parliament's finance committees this afternoon, Gordhan took a swipe at the Democratic Alliance, which has criticised the budget as not going far enough to stop South Africa from following the same route.

When it comes to the economy, Gordhan wants the country's interests put first, before party political or election interests.

"We should have a collective determination to protect our fiscal sovereignty. None of us, I hope, wants to get to the door of the IMF. None of us wants to be dictated by a multi-national agency about what we do, how we spend our money, which programmes we're going to cut and which programmes we're going to enhance."

The minister believes his budget has done enough to stop the axe from falling.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's seems to agree, saying in a statement earlier today the budget doesn't warrant immediate action.

It has South Africa rated at one notch above junk status.

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