Gordhan Says South Africa Has ‘Sound, Sustainable’ Budget Policy

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan spoke to reporters today on the mid-term budget he presented to lawmakers in Cape Town.

On the budget deficit:

“What we are able to do as government is to reassure South Africans that we have an extremely sound and sustainable framework. We are fiscally safe, we are not about to fall off of any cliff. There is enough money in the system in order to deliver the economic support, the social wage, and to meet the immediate needs of the programs we have.”

On the ruling African National Congress December election:

“It is our wish and hope that by the time we get to the 16th of December and more particularly the 20th, we will have reached a point where all the questions that may be of concern are resolved sufficiently in order to provide clarity for those of us who are policy makers and for those watching us.”

On credit rating downgrades:

“There are too many people outside of this country who are making judgment calls. There is no catastrophe that is going to hit our country at this time. There is no need for the pessimism. We have survived worse than this in getting to where we are here today.”

On the ANC government’s management since the end of apartheid:

“For the record, the ANC government has had a virtually spectacular record in terms of fiscal management. Nothing suggests we are going off the wall. What we are demonstrating is that we are sticking to sound foundations of fiscal policy, counter-cyclicality, debt sustainability, inter-generational equity, and showing we remain agile in the environment we find ourselves in.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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