South African deputy finance minister says graft, patronage threats to governance

South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas (R) arrives with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for Gordhan's 2016 Budget address in Cape Town in this February 24, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Files
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said on Thursday that patronage and corruption were undermining efforts to build a credible government, as Africa’s most industrialised country faces the prospect of potential ratings downgrades.

Jonas’ remarks said in a speech at a labour congress also came the day after the Auditor-General said irregular expenditure by South African government departments swelled 80 percent to 43.4 billion rand ($3 billion) in the 2015-16 financial year.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)


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