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Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene walked straight into a cabinet meeting on his first day back in the public sector on Wednesday. By lunchtime, he had begun taking stock of the country's fiscal situation as, one by one, senior Treasury officials lined up outside his office at his request to brief the country's fourth finance minister in two years. "I am indeed quite encouraged with the wave that is sweeping the country; that we have the potential to be able to make this work," Nene told Business Times in a series of conversations between marathon meetings that continued into the night ahead of a handover briefing from his predecessor, Malusi Gigaba, on Thursday morning. At Nene's side was new Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele, and both were aware of the responsibility of executing one of the most important jobs in the country and the challenges that lie in store. Not lost on Nene is the need to appease credit ratings agencies whose adverse ratings could be the death knell for cr...

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