9 October 2018

South Africa: ANC and Opposition Parties Welcome Mboweni, Praise Nene

Photo: @PresidencyZA/Twitter
President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates new finance minister Tito Mboweni after his swearing-in.

Former SA Reserve Bank governor and newly appointed Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni is highly accomplished and should be able to hit the ground running.

This was the sentiment from the ANC and opposition parties after the news broke that Mboweni would replace former minister, Nhlanhla Nene, as the country's finance minister.

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Nene had asked to step down from his role after he admitted during testimony before the state capture commission of inquiry that he had lied about meeting with the controversial Gupta family.

Nene revealed that he had met the Guptas at their Saxonwold home no less than five times during his tenures as deputy finance minister and during the early stages of his first stint as finance minister.

The Guptas are accused of having undue influence over former President Jacob Zuma and his executive as well as state-owned enterprises.

Although Nene has since apologised for lying about meeting the Guptas, he decided to step down from his role.

The ANC applauded both Nene and Ramaphosa for the development, calling the president's decision to accept the resignation bold, decisive and timely.

"The ANC further commends Comrade Nene for the commitment he has shown to the well-being of the country," ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said.

The party also congratulated Mboweni for his new appointment.

ANC alliance partner the SACP congratulated Mboweni and welcomed Nene's resignation, calling it a swift response from Ramaphosa.

The communist party praised Nene for refusing to hand South Africa over to what it called the highest bidder, by refusing to sign the nuclear contract, which former president Jacob Zuma wanted to enter into with Russia.

"This principled steadfastness, and his voluntary appearance at the commission of inquiry into state capture as the first sitting Cabinet minister, deserve recognition," SACP spokesperson Alex Mohubetswane said in a statement.

The party said it would have been better if Nene had acknowledged all the Gupta meetings from the onset but said the important thing was that he had taken responsibility for his weakness and resigned.

In congratulating Mboweni, the DA's finance spokesperson David Maynier commented that he had been "plucked from political obscurity" to be appointed as Nene's replacement.

"With his experience, the new finance minister will have the advantage of being able to hit the ground running and is, at least, known to market participants, ratings agencies and international financial institutions, who closely follow events in South Africa."

The country's main opposition party, however, said it was worried about some of Mboweni's social media posts during his period away from politics and described them as "a little looney" and "at odds with government policy".

The IFP said it was concerned that Ramaphosa did not use the opportunity to also get rid of controversial ministers Bathabile Dlamini and Malusi Gigaba, but welcomed Mboweni's appointment.

"This comes at a time when our economy more than ever needs capable, able and stable leadership. We wish Minister Mboweni well as he journeys through the mammoth task of steering our economy in the right direction," said the IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota however, was unimpressed by the appointment and accused the ANC of "floundering" when it came to giving South Africans a stable government and leadership.

While the Rand has firmed at the news of Mboweni's appointment, Lekota cautioned that the move could affect the country's credit rating pronouncement later this week.

Source: News24

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