New Finance Minister Same Old Problems?
With the Resignation of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, Mr Tito Mboweni, the former Reserve Bank Governor, has stepped into the position.
Mr Nene left the post in the face of strong public pressure over state capture allegations. He had met several times with the Gupta family at their home while he served as Deputy Minister (and later Finance Minister).
Mr Mboweni, who was born in 1959, has extensive financial experience and was first appointed as labour minister in 1994 after many years in exile. He became Reserve Bank Governor in 1999 and served in this post until 2009. He has since been busy in the private sector working with such companies as Goldman Sachs.
The Changing Finance Ministers
The countries finances have been in crisis for many years as the local economy was swept along in the global recession. In many ways, SA weathered the storm longer than most expected in part due to the robust National Credit Act of 2007 and only recently entered a technical recession (even though the countries production has steadily been falling as has the Rand).
Over the last few years, the post of Finance Minister has been filled with many different faces as it seems every time the music stops someone else quickly grabs the seat. Some of these changes happened at midnight in sudden political shenanigans that left heads spinning.
After Mr Trevor Manuel the position went for many years to Pravin Gordhan. Nhlanhla Nene then filled the post (for the first time) in 2015 under President Zuma and was then later suddenly fired and replaced overnight by Des van Rooyen for a few days. He later reported that this happened after he refused to sign off on a nuclear deal at the instruction of President Zuma. Next Pravin Gordhan was grudgingly (re)appointed and was a constant thorn in the side of the President for many months. Gordhan was eventually removed in March 2017 and was replaced by Malusi Gigaba who was in turn replaced by Nene (again) when Cyril Ramaposa was appointed President. Nenes resignation now makes way for Tito Mboweni to step into the role.