Gordhan: It’s up to Zuma to fire me

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says if President Jacob Zuma chooses to redeploy him, then that is the president’s decision.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Just before delivering his Budget Speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reiterated that it’s up to President Jacob Zuma to fire him and that his record speaks for itself.

He’s been under pressure to quit from sections of the ruling party and several other organisations and has faced rumours in the weeks leading up to his speech of his imminent removal.

Gordhan says if Zuma chooses to redeploy him, then that is the president’s decision.

Meanwhile, the minister announced a hike in sin taxes, an increased fuel levy and a new super bracket for high-income earners.

Those are some of the announcements made by Gordhan as he delivered his Budget Speech in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Gordhan revealed that government is expected to spend R1.56 trillion in the coming year and is likely to collect just R1.41 trillion in revenue. That means the nation will have to borrow around R149 billion just to make ends meet.

Gordhan told parliamentarians that South Africa is at a crossroads, with slow economic growth, high levels of unemployment and businesses under stress. Government debt levels are at an all-time high - around R2.2 trillion.

The Finance Minister is hoping to raise an additional R28 million in tax revenue this financial year, while simultaneously reducing government expenditure by R26 billion over the coming years.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)