‘I won’t be distracted by issues unrelated to the task at hand’

President Zuma’s decision to replace Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas was met with disapproval from some senior ANC leaders.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba smiles ahead of the swearing in ceremony of President Jacob Zuma’s new cabinet in Pretoria on 31 March 2017. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says he will not be distracted by political issues unrelated to his new role.

The Minister addressed the media for the first time since his appointment by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday.

The president's decision to replace Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas was met with disapproval from some senior African National Congress leaders, including secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

LISTEN: Gwede Mantashe weighs in on Cabinet changes

Gigaba says he will build on the good work done by his predecessors.

“I will not be distracted by issues that are not related to the task at hand. I am keenly aware of the sterling leadership of this portfolio by all of the previous ministers of finance – comrade Trevor Manuel, Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan.”

He adds his main priority is to ensure rapid economic transformation that will benefit the poor.

“There not be a contradiction between inclusive growth and radical economic transformation. There cannot be an economic progress that leaves our people behind.”

WATCH: Gigaba treads line between radical economic transformation and fiscal discipline

Earlier Gigaba said he is aware the country is in a climate of sharp disagreement and mutual suspicion, but is aware of the enormous importance of his responsibilities as the new finance minister.

Gigaba said all decisions he intends to make are for the good of the people of the country.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)