South Africa's Zuma Said to Plan Business Leaders Meeting

Updated on

South Africa's president Jacob Zuma.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South African President Jacob Zuma will meet with business leaders to discuss the country’s credit-rating downgrades and a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Zuma, 75, will meet members of the CEO Initiative on Friday to assure them of the government’s willingness to bolster investor confidence, said the person, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made.

S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk after Zuma’s decision to fire Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. He also made 18 other changes to his administration shortly after midnight on March 31.

The CEO Initiative, a body representing leaders at some of South Africa’s largest companies, last month criticized the ouster of Gordhan and Jonas, describing it as an “ill-timed and irrational dismissal of a trusted and well-respected minister of finance and deputy finance minister.”

Zuma appointed Malusi Gigaba, a former home affairs minister with no experience in finance, as Gordhan’s replacement. He also named Sfiso Buthelezi as deputy finance minister.

(Updates with appointment of new finance minister in final paragraph.)
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