Treasury mum on budget head's resignation

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

Cape Town - Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Monday said that the resignation of National Treasury's long-time budget head Michael Sachs was of "enormous concern".

What this means is that in the middle of a "fiscal crisis", which Michael Sachs himself described as the most challenging since the global financial crisis, decision-making on the budget has been plunged into chaos.

Officials in the Treasury and other departments anxious about the consequences of Sachs's resignation say they feel betrayed by Radebe, who should have refused to participate in such a unsafe process.

Although Treasury did not explain the reason behind Sachs' resignation, media reports have suggested that he resigned last week due to President Jacob Zuma's interference in the budgeting process.

And it seems that National Treasury are slowly being "defanged" and reduced to "bookkeepers", with declining influence over budget priorities, and the budget itself, under President Jacob Zuma.

The report of the Commission will be released at 12 p.m. on Monday, the presidency said.

His resignation was later confirmed by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who said he was "saddened" to see Sachs leave.

Sachs has said free tertiary education was unaffordable in current economic climate where the country faces a revenue budget gap of over R50 billion. The rand has weakened by 0.76% from 9:00am when the local unit was trading at R14.40.

Sachs resigned from Treasury on Friday over claims that Treasury's budgeting processes had been usurped by a team from the Presidency and the department of monitoring and evaluation.

If Zuma pushes his policy, it would undermine Treasury's role in keeping a lid on government spending and wasteful expenditure and finding the best ways to grow the economy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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