The Black Business Council urged the democratically elected national executive on Thursday to navigate the country through the crisis of allegations that the Gupta family was influencing the appointments of certain cabinet ministers.
“These allegations come at the time where the country is facing an economic crisis whereby there is lackluster growth, high inflation and risk of being downgraded by the rating agencies,” BBC chief executive, Mohale Rlebitso said.
Rlebitso said the BBC supported the call for a judicial commission of inquiry to remedy the situation with urgency, and arrest the threat that the Gupta allegations presented to the country’s economic and political outlook.
He said the BBC urged President Jacob Zuma and the ruling party to deal decisively with these allegations and reassure the nation that the country’s sovereignty has not and will not be hijacked by private interests.
“With the world economy being in an extended fragile state, failure to implement corrective measures with immediate effect will result in drastic consequences and further deterioration of South Africa’s macro-economic outlook,” he said.
“These consequences would have the most damaging effects on the most vulnerable citizens of our country and Black business in general — exacerbating job losses and crippling economic development and thereby, undermining socio-political stability.”
Rlebitso said this was especially important given the country’s large current account deficit and heavy reliance on foreign-funding to close the gap. It was therefore necessary to reassure foreign investors that the country’s democratic framework still functioned optimally.
“The National Treasury of South Africa is a very important institution which needs to be respected and supported if we are to maintain stability in the economy and financial markets in the global environment,” Rlebitso said.