South Africa: Cabinet reshuffle sees new finance minister appointed

28 Feb 18

South Africa’s new president has unveiled significant changes to his cabinet, including the re-appointment of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister.

The incoming finance minister said on Tuesday that the budget announced last week by his predecessor might not be enough to reduce national debt nor prevent further credit ratings downgrades.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the cabinet changes on Monday, where he said that Nene, and other newly appointed ministers, would be sworn in the following day.  

Former finance minister Malusi Gigabe, who presented the country’s budget last week with the first increase in VAT in over a decade, has been moved to home affairs.

Nene, who spent the past two years working in the private sector, told local news outlet that it would take a great deal of work to stabilise the country’s finances but added he was “quite confident” it could be done.

He said: “I haven’t been sworn in yet, [the position] is a tall order, it’s going to take a lot of doing, I was very comfortable where I was.”

Nene has been in the post before. He was the country’s finance minister for 18 months between May 2014 and December 2015 but was sacked by former president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was forced to stand down earlier this month amid charges of corruption.

Ramaphosa was sworn in earlier this month, promising a “new dawn” for South Africa and pledged to tackle corruption.

The new president said: “In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation.”

 

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