‘Shake the baobab tree!’ Tito takes Twitter break after cryptic pep talk

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during a media briefing after his first mid-term budget speech at Parliament on October 24, 2018 in Cape Town (Gallo Images / Times Live / Esa Alexander)
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during a media briefing after his first mid-term budget speech at Parliament on October 24, 2018 in Cape Town (Gallo Images / Times Live / Esa Alexander)

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took to Twitter on Tuesday night with brief motivational words to his followers before announcing, around midnight, that he'll be taking a break from Twitter and "will be back in Dezemba!"

Mboweni told his 446 000 followers to ''[r]ock the boat! Shake the baobab tree! Do the unusual, disrupt the comfortable zones".

''This country needs Movement! Disrupt, destruct inertia!'' he added. According to Mboweni, this is ''how you get movement forward".

Mboweni, in a previous tweet on July 9, had alluded to taking time to reflect. In it, he said: ''From time to time in our lives, we take a pause to reflect. Look at the bigger picture, make peace and reclaim friendships and collegiality.'' He ended the tweet by wishing peace to all. 

Mboweni, known for sharing his adventures in food preparation on Twitter, has been uncharacteristically quiet on social media in recent weeks. 

Last month, his department unexpectedly released a 77-page economic discussion paper to "reverse the downward trend in South Africa’s growth potential". According to Treasury, the proposals could raise the country's economic growth rate by up to 3% and create as many as a million job opportunities.

The document, understood to be released without consultation from the Cabinet, was welcomed by many, including Business Leadership SA (BLSA), opposition party the DA and several economists, but also drew the ire of other notable critics such as Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko, who slammed the telecom proposals. It was also roundly criticised by Cosatu, who called it "incoherent, confused and unreliable".

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