South Africa’s largest trade union asks Zuma to step down

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma addressed parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. PHOTO/AP

Country’s credit rating downgraded to ‘junk status’

South Africa’s largest trade union and ally to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said on Tuesday that President Jacob Zuma must step down after his change of finance ministers triggered a credit rating downgrade to “junk”.

The trade union said it no longer believed in Zuma’s ability to lead the party and the country, and that it would call for the alliance with the ANC to be “restructured”.

On Monday, S&P Global Ratings downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to BB+ from BBB- grade (junk status) – for the first time in 17 years – saying that the recent dismissal of the internationally respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan posed a risk fiscal policy.

Meanwhile, The head of South Africa’s Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile, has asked to leave his post at the end of this month, a year before his contract runs out, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Fuzile, 51, had informed the former Finance Minister of his plans to leave a day before Gordhan was dismissed on March 31.
He has served as Treasury boss for the past 6 years. The cabinet last year extended his original 5-year term for 24 months.

Source: Reuters, Agencies