The rand held gains made ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Tuesday afternoon that former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni would be the new finance minister. Ramaphosa made the announcement from Tuynhys in Parliament. Mboweni is replacing Nhlanhla Nene with immediate effect.
h3. Mboweni replaces Nene
The president said that Nene submitted his letter of resignation this morning. Last week Nene testified at the State Capture Inquiry that he had met with members of the Gupta family several times between 2009 and 2014. He had not previously acknowledged these meetings.
h3. Rand Strength
The rand was trading 0.67% stronger at R14.75 ahead of Ramaphosa’s announcement, having firmed on speculation that Mboweni would get the post. At 16:56, after the president made the announcement, it was changing hands at R14.76 to the greenback. The currency had opened the day at R14.84/$. In the early afternoon it weakened to briefly trade under R15/$ on a combination of uncertainty around Nene’s fate and dollar strength.
h3. Ramaphosa Comment
In a short address Ramaphosa said that it was is a measure of Nene’s character and his “commitment to the national interest” that he resigned although he he has “not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing”. “This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy. I am confident that Mr Mboweni will provide that leadership.”
h3. Our Comment
One down for unethical conduct! We hope Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini are next, only then there will be a chance for a cabinet with credibility!