JOHANNESBURG – News on Tuesday afternoon that President Cyril Ramaphosa had appointed former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni as new finance minister after accepting Nhlanhla Nene's resignation was welcomed by a senior member of South Africa's investment community.
Steven Nathan, chief executive officer of 10X Investments, said the announcement was good news because it showed the new leadership was serious about making a clean break with the past.
Nathan said that the announcement was evidence of "a dramatic departure from the previous Zuma-led government, where even when there was ample evidence of corruption or inappropriate behaviour nothing seemed to happen".
"This is very positive for South Africa because it shows how serious the new government under Cyril Ramaphosa is about dealing with corruption and even the perception of corruption and dishonesty," said Nathan, who was a leading analyst before he founded 10X, a disruptive asset manager.
"The message is clear that the lack of integrity, the lack of accountability and the complete disregard for honesty and ethical behaviour that dominated South Africa for so long is not going to be tolerated."
Nathan added that Ramaphosa’s announcement sent a strong message to other government departments, to parastatals and even to the private sector that “the moral fibre of this country will rise”.
Chris Eddy, senior investment analyst at 10X Investments, said the news of change of guard at National Treasury could be viewed as positive.
"Nhlanhla Nene has been replaced as Finance Minister by Tito Mboweni, who the markets have a lot of faith in," Eddy said.
"Through his long tenure as Reserve Bank governor, Mboweni presided over a period of relatively consistent and stable monetary policy and I think the markets would be relatively confident with him at the helm of the South African Treasury."
The rand reacted positively at 0.79 percent stronger at R14.72 to the dollar on Tuesday, soon after the announcement of Nene's resignation and Mboweni's appointment after it briefly breached R15 to the dollar earlier in the day.
Ramaphosa announced that he had accepted Nene's letter of resignation "in the interests of good governance" on Tuesday morning after Nene said there was risk that the developments around his testimony at the State capture commission will detract from the important task of serving the people of South Africa.
African News Agency (ANA)