South Africa’s Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan is set to miss the debate on the Budget scheduled to take place on Wednesday in Parliament as he is abroad on an investor roadshow.
National Treasury confirmed on Monday that Gordhan was visiting the United Kingdom and United States this week for discussions with investors, following his annual Budget Speech tabled two weeks ago.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament was not happy about this.
The DA’s deputy chief whip, Mike Waters, wrote to African National Congress Programming Whip, Fezile Bhengu, requesting that the debate be postponed until Wednesday, 16 March, so that Gordhan could be present for the debate on the fiscal framework in Parliament.
But according to media reports, this was refused by members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) select committee on finance because it would have ramifications for the adoption of the Division of Revenue Bill by the NCOP and the adoption of provincial budgets.
DA spokesperson on Finance, David Maynier, in a statement, said: “It’s simply not acceptable for the Minister to skip the debate on the fiscal framework in Parliament. The Minister tabled a how-to-beat-a-ratings-downgrade budget in Parliament. And he should be present to debate his how-to-beat-a-ratings-downgrade budget in Parliament.”