“This disease of greed must be addressed”- Pravin Gordhan

The former Finance Minister and current ANC MP has warned that Moody’s visiting the country would not be a good sign. Can SA make it through?


Rating agency Moody’s was rumoured to be visiting South Africa recently. Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has warned that, if true, their visit is not a good sign for South Africa.

Gordhan was speaking in Stellenbosch at a conference of the Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa) in partnership with Deloitte.

“Fiscally, South Africa is moving in the wrong direction. We need to stop that slide and start moving in a different direction in more way than one way.”

Gordhan was receiving the baobab Award for ethical leadership. “Striving to do the right thing even when others choose a less ethical path.

Of course, the topic of corruption and State Capture came up. To combat these issues, Gordhan says one “disease” has to be addressed, fast.

“Greed is a key driving force of behaviour in the current economic system. This disease of greed must be addressed as it corrupts society.”

“It is remarkable how big institutions, proclaiming their values and standards, are then seen as the ones whose behaviour and activities do the opposite in terms of undermining the integrity we want to see.”

“An economic model that reinforces inequality and promotes greed rather than empathy inspires wrong behaviours. It must combine with profound social justice at the heart of business practices otherwise it will constantly cause tension,” said Gordhan.

The ANC MP went on to say the problem is a mix between some of those in government, some in professional firms and some in the business sector. While things may seem negative, Gordhan does believe that it is possible to see changes in South Africa sometime next year.

He also warned that people need to do more than just make accusations to stop corruption.

“The current finger pointing exercise is actually a useful way to distract people from the total picture. It is only when you connect the pieces constantly that you see the bigger picture in order to get systemic answers,” said Gordhan.

“If we keep operating at a tactical level we might target the wrong things. Rather combine the systemic and tactical approach to make a difference, especially when you want to be an organising force in society.”