The EFF has called upon President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Department of Public Entreprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for allegedly deliberately destroying state-owned companies and running the South African economy down the drain. Spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said the office of the Auditor-General’s damning reports into the state-owned enterprises overseen by the minister were proof of his incompetence in managing the department.
“The calls for the immediate removal of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Public Enterprises for his deliberate destruction of strategic state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In light of the damning findings presented in the recent Auditor General’s report, the EFF feels vindicated as the report emphatically demonstrates Gordhan’s incompetence in managing the nation’s public enterprises.
“The Auditor General’s presentation reveals a disastrous tenure for Gordhan, characterised by rampant corruption, mismanagement, and financial loss across key SOEs. This level of incompetence cannot be ignored, and it is imperative that Gordhan be held accountable for his actions,” said Thambo.
Thambo said Gordhan, who is a close ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, had lost public trust.
“The EFF believes that he has failed in his duty as a custodian of the public trust and must be removed from his position with immediate effect. The report highlights several instances of maladministration and poor governance at state-owned enterprises such as Eskom, South African Airways (SAA), and Transnet, which have suffered massive financial losses under Gordhan’s watch.
“The EFF is deeply concerned about the long-term impact of such mismanagement on South Africa’s economy and the livelihoods of our citizens. We can no longer afford to have individuals like Gordhan in positions of power, as they have proven to be detrimental to the nation’s interests,” he said. “The EFF has long been vocal about Gordhan’s incompetence and has repeatedly called for his removal. This report not only validates our position but also underscores the urgent need for decisive action.”
The EFF called on Ramaphosa to show Gordhan the door.
“As the nation’s leading opposition party, we demand that President Cyril Ramaphosa take immediate steps to remove Gordhan from office and appoint a competent and capable individual who can salvage our struggling public enterprises.
“South Africa’s public enterprises are the backbone of our economy, and their deterioration under Gordhan’s watch is a clear indication of his inability to manage these critical institutions,” added Thambo.
The EFF said that Ramaphosa had clubbed together with Gordhan to snatch the presidency of the ANC back in 2017, and eventually the 2019 elections, on a narrative that they would run a clean government, which was nothing but deceit.
“It is worth noting that President Ramaphosa and Gordhan came into power on a ticket of clean government and a commitment to rooting out corruption. However, the evidence presented in the Auditor General’s report clearly demonstrates that their mantra was all an act, and they are not genuine about anything.
“This deception has caused immense damage to the nation, and it is time for a change in leadership. However, we must emphasise that while we recognise the urgent need to remove Gordhan, we do not have confidence in Ramaphosa and view him as an imposter who should have long vacated the Union Buildings,” Thambo said.
Gordhan’s office released a statement in which it rebutted criticism from the EFF and other opposition. The minister rejected claims that he was incompetent and labelled his detractors “opportunists” who refused to give him credit for cleaning up SOE’s.
“The Auditor General’s presentation to the portfolio committee was a culmination of extensive and ongoing engagements that are aimed at aligning the work of the department with the stated objectives of government, and that work is informed by the strategic framework that is beginning to yield significant improvements in the oversight of the SOEs.
“Granted, the department has never taken the view that its work would find support from its detractors and opportunists… as they have decided to not recognise the extent of the damage that was wrought on Eskom, Transnet, SAA and Denel in particular,” said Gordhan.
Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said it was not the EFF’s place to tell Ramaphosa which ministers to hire or fire.
“No, the President will not consider the EFF’s call, nor does he take advice from the EFF on the management of his cabinet,” said Magwenya.