New finance minister Tito Mboweni.

EKURHULENI – As expected, Nhlanhla Nene resigned as finance minister to avoid exerting aggravated pressure on the already stressed business and sagging public confidence. 

However, there's a politically optical illusion parroted by some that former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni exemplifies the so-called recycled old guard within the governing party. 

Others went haywire, causing brouhaha over his previous stance of favouring young people to be considered for the job. 

Methinks they're all out of their depth, considering that Mboweni answered the call to salvage the precarious situation. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa handed him the job on a plate to resuscitate the economy that is recovering from its worst investment drought and a technical recession. 

It's actually a daunting task for a newcomer to tackle the national challenges and restore the political environment within eight months. 

Mboweni being equal to the task, this appointment presents an opportunity for him to incubate his successor.

The next greatest challenge for him is to deal with the threat of a further downgrade to the country's credit outlook and maladministration, following alleged state capture that led to the country losing billions of rand to corruption. 

The Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies has correctly pointed out that corruption has hindered progress in terms of the country's potential to buy local, thereby contributing to the weak growth and regression in the economy. 

This unbridled corruption is attributed to the issuance of contracts and tenders to selected foreign corporations, without any participation obligation for such entities to contribute towards skills development and competitiveness of local businesses.

Basically put, public institutions are guilty of procuring goods and services from the international market without leveraging the potential of localisation to realise our developmental goals. 

The ripple effect is precisely why the cost of living has sky-rocketed and hit consumer activity due to a VAT increase, which stoked food inflation. 

The views expressed here are not those of Independent Media.

BUSINESS REPORT