President Jacob Zuma should be recalled as leader of the African National Congress after South Africa’s downgrade to “junk status”‚ said the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) on Monday‚ a call quickly echoed by opposition politicians.
“We cannot allow this situation to continue and the ruling party will have to look toward themselves and their inability to take this issue seriously‚” said OUTA chairman Wayne Duvenage.
“We believe that if the authorities act swiftly‚ South Africa may be able to have the rest of the ratings agencies to stay their decision for a downgrade‚ and eventually get S& P to reverse their decision.”
S&P Global Ratings agency cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status late on Monday.
OUTA appealed to the ruling party to “take every step possible” to strip Zuma of his role as president of the country.
The National Treasury said in a statement that government “notes the sovereign rating announcement by S&P.”
“This rating announcement calls for South Africans to reflect on the need to sustain and act with urgency to accelerate inclusive growth and development so that we can reverse the triple challenge of poverty‚ unemployment and inequality‚” said the statement.
“Reducing reliance on foreign savings to fund investment and relying less on debt to finance public expenditure will secure South Africa’s fiscal sovereignty and economic independence.
“Government remains committed to making sure that its work with business‚ labour and the civil society continues in order to improve the business confidence and implement structural reforms to accelerate inclusive economic growth.”
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane described the downgrade as “a clear vote of no confidence in President Zuma‚ and a direct result of his decision to fire Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas last week“.
“President Zuma should resign immediately to allow a new administration to stabilise our economy‚ and to stanch this growing crisis.”
The Inkatha Freedom Party said Zuma had acted “against all sound advice and warnings; and last week with his rogue cabinet reshuffle he put in the final nail into our economic coffin“.
“On the back of this downgrade by Standard and Poor’s‚ Mr Zuma must resign.
“The so-called reshuffle was nothing but a pure political purge with its sight set on capturing National Treasury to loot the public purse; and the consequences for South Africa is a hard hitting downgrade to junk status‚” the IFP said in a statement released on Monday evening.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said‚ “We might as well use the term ‘junk status’ to describe our government“.
South African Institute of Race Relations CEO Frans Cronje said‚ “the downgrade greatly complicates the prospects for South Africa being able to stage an economic recovery.
“Without a growth recovery‚ employment growth and revenue collection will stagnate and may even decline. The result will be a series of year on year declines in the living standards of poor and middle class South Africans alike.”
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will discuss the downgrade at a media briefing on Tuesday.