In a letter responding to a request from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the speaker confirmed that her office is in the process of consulting with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip of the Majority Party to schedule the motion “within a reasonable period of time”, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.
The speaker also confirmed that the motion will be published on the first available Order Paper in 2016, said Maimane.
Maimane said he requested the debate in the light of Zuma’s decision to fire Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.
The debate had been given greater urgency after Zuma defended the sacking of Nene, Maimane said.
In an earlier interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Zuma dismissed allegations that his decision to fire Nene was irrational.
Zuma fired Nene on December 9 and replaced him with Desmond van Rooyen, a largely unknown MP, a move that sent the local currency plummeting to record lows of 16 against the dollar.
Days later, Zuma rescinded his decision and appointed Pravin Gordhan, then Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as finance minister.
In his interterview, Zuma said the reshuffle was not the main reason of the rand’s depreciation.
“The rand started going down when Nene was there. There were reasons why Nene was moved. So it was important that decision was taken,” said Zuma.
On Monday, the rand once again dropped to record lows against the U.S. dollar during what’s been described as erratic trade on Asian markets, reaching R17.99 against the dollar.
But Maimane insisted that the initial decision to fire Nene was “reckless and irrational”, and the reaction – both domestically and internationally – was predictable and justified.
“The President fired a fiscally responsible minister at a time when our economy required strong and bold leadership, showing his nonchalant approach to our economy,” said Maimane. Enditem