Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says it welcome changes to the National Executive as announced by by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening, especially changes in National Treasury.
CEO Bonang Mohale says: “This long-awaited cabinet reshuffle is an important step in boosting confidence in the economy, to restore growth and create jobs, to attend to the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, especially among the youth. We now urge the President to speed up the process of reviewing the size and configuration of his cabinet and national departments so as to demonstrate his commitment to urgently needed austerity measures.”
BLSA says it applauds the return of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister as a familiar face and steady hand who will give investor confidence to our economy.
“This will allow him to continue the work he was performing in the role before his inexplicable, abrupt removal in December 2015,” says Mohale.
The organisation has also welcomed the re-appointment of Pravin Gordhan as political head of Public Enterprises.
Mohale says Gordhan’s appointment will strengthen government’s hand in dealing with state capture and corruption and facilitate efforts to address the governance, leadership and capital structures of state owned enterprises.
BLSA adds that it also commends the President for swiftly removing the ministers implicated in serious allegations of state capture and other forms of wrongdoing.
These include: Mosebenzi Zwane (Mineral Resources), Des van Rooyen (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), Lynne Brown (Public Enterprises), Faith Muthambi (Public administration), Nathi Nhleko (Public Works) and Bongani Bongo (state Security).
The organisation says it hopes Gwede Mantashe’s appointment into Mineral Resources will position the industry to take advantage of the next upswing in commodity prices.
“Although he has no direct experience in government, Gwede Mantashe has an intimate knowledge of the mining sector and is an astute negotiator – two attributes that are critical to resolving the current impasse around the formulation of the mining charter, says Mohale.
BLSA notes that some ministers who face allegations of wrongdoing and serious mismanagement have been moved to other positions supposedly to unite the ruling party.