NEWS & ANALYSIS

Michael Sachs' resignation of enormous concern - BLSA

CEO Bonang Mohale says this heightens concerns over the politicisation of the Treasury

Resignation of Michael Sachs, DDG for Treasury's budget office

The resignation of the DDG for the Treasury's budget office is of enormous concern, said Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) today. Michael Sachs is another in a line of admirable and competent professionals leaving what is arguably our most important ministry tasked with the economic wellbeing of the country.

His departure, following previous warnings about the interference of the presidency into fiscal and budgetary policymaking decisions within the Treasury, will further undermine the credibility of our institutions and comes right before credit ratings agencies publish their review of our country’s economy on 24 November.

"In his medium-term budget policy statement, Minister Gigaba told us about a new structure in the Presidency to oversee expenditure in the Treasury. We at BLSA are of the view that this could well violate the constitution," said CEO Bonang Mohale.

"Sections 215 and 216 of the constitution ensure transparency and expenditure control, including the right of the treasury to stop the transfer of funds to organs of state in the face of any serious or material breach of proper financial management. Parliament carries the ultimate responsibility for approving the budget, not the presidency. This latest development raises further concerns over the politicisation of the Treasury and budget process and sends the wrong signal to the people of South Africa."

Statement issued by BLSA, 13 November 2017