Tito Mboweni. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Tito Mboweni. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Business has lauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to appoint former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni as finance minister.

Business Unity SA (Busa) CEO Tanya Cohen said although having a new finance minister is “obviously a setback” and the timing is regrettable, the organisation has confidence in his credibility and experience to take on the role, adding that he has the expertise to provide steady leadership in National Treasury

“It is important to emphasise that there can be no dark cloud hanging over the institutional head of National Treasury. Today’s development does not spell the introduction of a new fiscal direction, rather a move to entrench stability and demonstrate how seriously the government is taking state capture,” said Busa president Sipho Pityana.

Mboweni, who previously served in the cabinet as labour minister, replaced Nhlanhla Nene who resigned following public pressure over his testimony at the state-capture inquiry, where he admitted to meeting the Gupta family on numerous occasions, including at their private Saxonwold home.

“We welcome it, he’s an excellent choice because he understands how the whole of Treasury operates,” said Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu. 

“Within the ANC, he is a very senior leader who will have the capacity to gain credibility and rein in anyone wayward. He will be able to implement the stimulus package that will get the country to achieve the job-creation target set at the recently held jobs summit.”

While Mboweni is the third minister to hold the position this year, Zungu said it was imperative for Ramaphosa to fill the role with someone as credible as Mboweni. “It’s quite obvious that the events of the last couple of days put Nene in an untenable situation. There was no other way.”

Banking Association South Africa CEO Cas Coovadia said Mboweni will need to win the confidence of the markets, business and investor communities while creating a platform for inclusive growth and job creation.

“As a former labour minister, he will understand that addressing the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, are as important as maintaining fiscal discipline and the stability of the financial system."