Business cheers the return of Nene and Gordhan

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet is a step towards boosting confidence, restoring growth and creating jobs, said CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) Bonang Mohale.

Ramaphosa announced his Cabinet reshuffle on Monday night, with a number of changes in the economic cluster. 

BLSA welcomed the decision by Ramaphosa to reinstate Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, after he was axed in December 2015. Malusi Gigaba moves back to home affairs.

Ramaphosa also appointed Pravin Gordhan as minister of public enterprises, after Lynne Brown was axed.  

Mohale said Nene has a “familiar face” and “steady hand”, which would give investors confidence in the economy.

He added that Gordhan will “strengthen government’s hand” in dealing with state capture and corruption. “Most importantly, it will facilitate the efforts to address the governance, leadership and capital structures of the SOEs,” he said.

Ramaphosa sacked mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. He is to be replaced by ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe. BLSA commended the president’s decision to remove Zwane and other ministers who have been implicated in serious allegations of state capture. This includes Brown, minister of public administration Faith Muthambi and minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs Des van Rooyen.

“Although he has no direct experience in government, Gwede Mantashe has an intimate knowledge of the mining sector and is an astute negotiator – two attributes that are critical to resolving the current impasse around the formulation of the Mining Charter,” Mohale said of Mantashe's appointment. 

“We hope his appointment will help position the industry to take advantage of the next upswing in commodity prices.”

BLSA believes that the bulk of appointments are justified. Mohale called on the president to speed up the process of reviewing the size of the Cabinet and national departments.

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