Lukanyo Mnyanda Editor: Business Day

When news broke about a month ago that Tito Mboweni was returning to the cabinet and the rand surged, I remembered how different things had been back one weekend in 1998 when it was announced that he would be deployed to the Reserve Bank, with the view that he would take over when then governor Chris Stals retired the following year. You wouldn’t know it from the vitriol he gets from trade unions whenever he opens his mouth, but in those days, being the labour minister who ushered in worker-friendly legislation that elements in business opposed passionately, he was seen as somewhat of a radical. This was before the term “populist” got the currency it has now. As predicted, the rand tanked that Monday and it took him some time to establish his credentials. He turned out to be more hawkish than most would have expected and was a fierce defender of the Bank’s independence . How much of the latter was due to principle or a personal antipathy to being told what to do, I’m not sure. So as...

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