After the cheers, Tito Mboweni's first big task

Minnie Murray
October 10, 2018

South Africa's finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has quit after admitting meeting members of the Gupta family, who have been accused of corruption.

"Their continued stay in cabinet sends a message that Ramaphosa is inconsistent and fails go put the interests of South Africans above those of the ANC's big shots".

It has taken approximately less than seven days for now former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to move from being one of the most trusted and loved public servants to him now being referred to as compromised, with some questioning his integrity.

But Nene apologized last week after telling a commission of inquiry about visits that he made years ago to the businesses and home of the Gupta family, who along with Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

Mboweni, the nation's fifth finance chief in less than three years, will have to oversee an economy that's fallen into recession and help Ramaphosa rebuild confidence battered by nearly nine years of mismanagement under former President Jacob Zuma.

Mboweni, who trained as an economist, served as head of the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009 and for four years as labour minister in former President Nelson Mandela's cabinet.


The rand gained 0.9% to R14.72/$ by 5.25pm in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4%.

Ramaphosa's office responded and said they were not aware of Nene's request.

Mboweni was born on March 16, 1959, and he was the eighth governor of the South African Reserve Bank and the first black South African to hold the post. He is urging those ministers and other senior officials to follow Mr. Nene's example by volunteering to give testimony at the national inquiry into corruption so that their conduct can be reviewed.

Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister.

It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency. Khusela Diko, the president's spokeswoman, said the two men have discussed the matter.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 6 basis points to 9.180%, continuing to fall as the appointment of a new finance minister reduced political uncertainty.

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