Tito Mboweni is back from the political wilderness. In a move that was cheered by markets, the former Reserve Bank governor returned to the cabinet for the first time since 1998, when former president Nelson Mandela deployed him to the Bank, before he took over after Chris Stals retired in 1999. The rand and the country’s bonds gained as traders welcomed the appointment of Mboweni as finance minister. During his 10-year tenure at the Bank, he stuck to his mandate to control inflation. His first big task back in government will be to present the medium-term budget statement on October 24, when he will want to reassure markets and credit-ratings agencies of SA’s fiscal health. Mboweni’s dramatic return, to replace Nhlanhla Nene, comes after Nene was engulfed in a scandal about undeclared meetings with the Gupta family. Nene, the first casualty of the Zondo commission into state capture, admitted in testimony last week that he had met the Gupta family at their business and residential ...

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