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What President Ramaphosa’s appointment of Mboweni means for South African politics

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to accept Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation as finance minister and replace him with Tito Mboweni has been widely welcomed.

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The markets reacted positively following Tuesday’s announcement: the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

Mr Mboweni is an old and trusted hand. He was South Africa’s eighth governor of the central bank and the first black South African to hold that position after the end of apartheid.

He also served as labour minister in former President Nelson Mandela’s administration.

The move signals a new way of doing things in South African politics.

Mr Nene fell on his sword for admitting that he met the controversial Gupta family at their home and offices, contradicting his previous statement that he met them only at public events. And that in itself is a remarkable thing as there was no evidence of any wrong doing by Mr Nene.

The culture of cabinet members resigning is almost non-existent in South Africa.

People wait until they are pushed. Mr Nene jumped.

There are many within Mr Ramaphosa’s administration who have done far worse and yet cling onto their cushy jobs.


Cover photo: South Africa’s president appointed Tito Mboweni (right) as the new finance minister at press conference in Cape Town. Photo: Reuters

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