South African Finance minister Pravin Gordhan (pictured) said foreign investors showed great faith in the economy while he was in London, adding that there are many people in government who also want to make sure the economy is on track.
President Jacob Zuma ordered Gordhan to cancel meetings with investors in the United Kingdom and the US and return home on Monday, a day after he flew to London to begin the week-long roadshow.
Zuma told senior leaders of the South African Communist Party that he plans to fire Gordhan, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The rand plummeted.
Asked about reports that he may be fired after he landed, Gordhan said: “I’ve just landed so let’s wait and see.”
Speculation that Gordhan is on the verge of being fired has swirled for months, as he clashed with Zuma over the management of state companies and the national tax agency.
Gordhan said while in London, he and his delegation met with about 50 investors who have “great faith” in the South African economy.
“There are many in government who want to do the right things and make sure that our economy is on track and keep our development moving in the right direction so we can say we have done our job and done it well,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s true that Gordhan will be fired,” Enoch Godongwana, the head of the ANC’s economic policy committee, told Bloomberg by phone.
“If that were to happen, it would be tragic for the economy. We are trying to move our growth to better levels. The growth numbers are beginning to reflect a positive trend. This sort of issue will be damaging.”