Gordhan: SA is at crossroads politically, economically

Pravin Gordhan spelt out plans to pay down the country's R2 trillion debt without stifling growth further.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presents mid-term budget policy statement. Picture: YouTube Screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says South Africa is at a crossroads, politically and economically and that it's time to take a hard look at what is working for the country and what is not.

Gordhan today delivered his medium term budget policy statement, which for the first time warns of fiscal risks to the economy.

He says the economy will grow at a slower rate than was forecast in the February budget and has spelt out plans to pay down the country's R2 trillion debt without stifling growth further.

Gordhan also used his speech to send a strong message about the need for the country's moral compass to be reset.

Gordhan made a brief reference to what he called the unsettling effect of legal matters and court challenges as he delivered a sober assessment of the state of the country's finances.

He's warned that lack of growth and rising expectations is causing the fabric of society to unravel and made it clear that divisions are making the situation worse

"Lions that fail to work as a team will struggle to bring down even a limping buffalo; so either we work as a South African pack, or we work as a divided pack."

Gordhan was loudly applauded when he spoke of the need for integrity, honesty and accountability in those working in public institutions.

"Put simply, this means that public funds must not be diverted for private ends."