The right man for the job

Finance Minister Titoi Mboweni Picture: File
Finance Minister Titoi Mboweni Picture: File

The appointment of Tito Mboweni as the new finance minister, replacing Nhlanhla Nene, is welcomed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is commended for his swift and prompt action in making this appointment in this important government ministry.

However, the government needs to ensure that it creates some stability in the finance ministry.

Since 2009 the country has had seven changes of ministers in the same portfolio and this has resulted in the country going backwards in terms of economic growth.

And the ministry of finance plays a significant role in the performance of the economy. Should the ANC win the 2019 general election, Ramaphosa needs to ensure there is consistency in the department and not have to consider making another appointment.

We all want to forget 2015 when Nene was removed because of his refusal to accede to the former president’s demands.

The economy lost billions of rands because of that action. We also want to forget 2016 when Pravin Gordhan was witch-hunted by the National Prosecuting Authority over baseless charges.

We want to forget March 2017 when Gordhan was replaced by Malusi Gigaba.

In 1996 Trevor Manuel was appointed deputy minister of the finance department and promoted to full ministership in 1999 by then president Thabo Mbeki.

He led the department for two full terms and was redeployed only in 2009. When he tendered his resignation after Mbeki was recalled, he was persuaded to stay on so as to keep the department stable and the markets happy.

This is clear evidence that there was consistency and stability in the department.

Stability and consistency in that department will boost investor confidence and see the economy growing in the near future.

I am sure Ramaphosa is very much aware of that.

Thabo Tswai is a City Press reader

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