THICK END OF THE WEDGE
PETER BRUCE: VBS should be Tito Mboweni’s first port of call
To stamp his authority once again as the man of integrity he was reputed to be as Reserve Bank governor, incoming minister of finance Tito Mboweni should start by cleaning up the mess at VBS Bank
Tito Mboweni is going to be such fun to have as finance minister. When he was labour minister he used to have people checking up on transformation in newsrooms. When he was Reserve Bank governor he refused to have his picture taken at press conferences in case someone caught a bead of sweat on his brow. There’s a picture of Mboweni using a cloth to wipe his forehead after a particularly difficult meeting of the monetary policy committee. It became the iconic “economy in trouble” image for a while. It will soon re-emerge. Having said that, he’s got balls. Soon after he became Reserve Bank governor in 1999 the entire team of people at the Bank who ran the national payments system, as he tells it, literally walked out, hoping perhaps to squeeze this isolated new black governor into giving them a private contract to continue running the system, without which normal financial transactions would have ground to a halt. He found enough people at the Bank to muddle through. It is probably wh...