Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says the Cyril Ramaphosa administration wants to restore the trust of people in government. He made the comments in his first Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

Started off with a quote line from the classic ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens – he told Parliament that “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” –  implying that South Africa is at a crossroads.

The minister says times are tough but the country has chosen the right path.  He says government is working on a plan to restructure the electricity sector and Eskom. The plan includes a review of the current electricity pricing policy.

According to Mboweni, the reconfiguration of parastatals and closure of some are also on the cards.

“There has to be a reconfiguration of SOE’s. There is a lot contained in that statement. We should be open-minded about inviting equity partners or close some of them and restart … if needs be.”

The rand weakened markedly as Mboweni started speaking and US markets prepare to open. The rand is currently trading at around R14, 39 to the dollar, which is around 21 cents weaker than it was just before 2pm.