Finance minister Tito Mboweni is seeking to bring an end to the battle for the soul of the National Treasury, which had played out under former president Jacob Zuma's administration and was fast becoming a risk to the country's international credit rating, leaving the Reserve Bank as SA's last bastion of institutional strength. Shortly before delivering his maiden medium-term budget policy statement this week, Mboweni said he was refamiliarising himself with thought processes in the cabinet. But he added: "I thought one of the things I am going to do is try and provide political protection to the National Treasury and, to the extent naively possible, to depoliticise the National Treasury. "I say to the extent naively possible because revenue and allocation, by definition, is highly political. But if we can protect the National Treasury from unnecessary interference, we'll try and do that. It's near impossible but we'll try and do that." Under Zuma, the Treasury was forced to provide...

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