Zuma, Gordhan meet to discuss economy, plans to improve fiscal growth

They discussed how South Africa recently avoided downgrades from S&P global and Moody's.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma today held a four-hour meeting with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan about the country's economy.

They discussed how South Africa recently avoided downgrades from Standard & Poor's Global and Moody's.

Gordhan also gave the president an indication of what plans are being put in place to improve economic growth.

The presidency's Bongani Ngqulunga said, "The minister gave the president a thorough briefing about the state of the domestic and global economy and also about state-owned enterprises and what needs to be done there and the support they need."

Tomorrow ratings agency Fitch is expected to publish its review.

GORDHAN CALLS FOR FOCUS ON ECONOMIC GROWTH, JOB CREATION

The finance minister said yesterday that South Africa needed to focus on boosting economic growth and creating jobs after avoiding a downgrade to "junk status".

S&P Global affirmed the country's investment grade rating on Friday. It kept its outlook for South Africa unchanged at BBB-minus with a negative outlook.

He said South Africa must now demonstrate to the world that the country is capable of raising growth above the 0.6 and 0.7 percent marks and begin to head to the two percent mark.

"We must demonstrate to the world that we are capable of raising growth above the 0.6 and 0.7 percent mark and begin to head to the two percent mark."

LISTEN: What SA should do now that S&P's didn't downgrade SA

'ZUMA, GORDHAN HAVE A PROFESSIONAL, NOT A FRIENDLY RELATIONSHIP'

Last month, the African National Congress (ANC) said the relationship between the president and Gordhan didn't have to be a friendly one, but insisted they were dealing with each other professionally.

This came after Gordhan said it appeared some agencies were being manipulated after the Sunday Times said he could soon be arrested for his role in the creation of a controversial South African Revenue Service (Sars) unit.

Gordhan and Zuma recently appeared to contradict each over issues such as the South African Airways.

The ANC said that it had full confidence in the minister and in all the members of Zuma's Cabinet.

The ANC's Zizi Kodwa was then asked if this situation was a result of a conflict between Gordhan and Zuma.

"Their relationship is not the relationship of ministers and the president walking in the park, holding hands and kissing one another. It's about confidence; and making sure that they carry their responsibilities, that is why they sign performance agreements."

He argued the reason that this perception is taking hold, is because all of the people involved are dealing with it in public when they should be dealing with it behind closed doors.