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Fri Sep 30 01:48:57 SAST 2016

Pravin Gordhan's refreshing break with tradition

The Times Editorial | 22 February, 2016 00:09

Now that the economy is taking a dive, a few senior officials in the government and the ANC have suddenly found their voices.

The noises in the corridors of power are encouraging, telling us that the rot in sectors of our government might at last be exposed and dealt with.

It is also encouraging that ministers have become willing to break with "tradition", and solidarity with their party, and act in defence of the country.

Yesterday we were told that Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan had decided not to honour one of the long-standing Budget traditions.

For the first time in years, the post-Budget breakfast (on Thursday) will not be organised by the SABC and the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper.

The Sunday Times has revealed that the Treasury will partner with e.tv and eNCA, after telling the SABC it did not want the Guptas sponsoring the breakfast.

The question now is, why the SABC is not broadcasting the show on its own?

Anyway, the value of lining up ministers on this breakfast show has never been explained.

What expertise have the Guptas ever brought to the event, other than lining up ministers and premiers?

Those elected to run the country should be accountable to the nation and no one else.

We hope that the new readiness of some government officials to speak out will continue.

We expect them to act always in defence of our rights and never to make deals that benefit those who are well-connected.

The fight against the Guptas' influencing of the state should not blind us to underhand deals involving other individuals.

If we allow our state to be held captive, the abuse will continue under a new president.

We fully agree with former president Kgalema Motlanthe that the situation will get worse before it gets better, but we have a duty to protect South Africa from such abuse.

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