PRETORIA | Tito Mboweni stepped down as South Africa’s finance minister as President Cyril Ramaphosa carried out a cabinet reshuffle in the fallout from the worst unrest in the country’s democratic history a few months ago.
Former finance minister, has stepped down without initiating a process to establish a state bank. This remains a failed project under ANC administration.
Enoch Godongwana, an economic policymaker in the ruling African National Congress, took over the treasury after Ramaphosa said he had accepted a “longstanding request” by Mboweni to exit as part of the reshuffle.
Ramaphosa wielded the axe over the state’s response to what he has called an “attempted insurrection” last months that left more than 330 dead and wrecked businesses and infrastructure across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, two big provinces.
The change of finance minister comes at a critical moment for Ramaphosa’s attempts to revive Africa’s most industrial economy.
Mboweni, a veteran former governor of the South African Reserve Bank, became finance minister in 2018 just as the scale of damage to government finances bequeathed by systematic corruption and stagnant growth under Zuma was becoming clear.
He spearheaded attempts to contain a bloated public sector wage bill and costly bailouts for indebted state-owned companies to avert what he warned was a looming sovereign debt crisis. The move riled ANC trade unionist allies.