Fiscally South Africa is in a place where its finance ministry cannot entertain a "politician" in the hot seat, and for that reason, the reappointment of Nhlanhla Nene was the best decision to have been made by the new administration to date. He'll have to take some rather tough and unpopular decisions to get the country out of sub-investment grade, ones that a politician in the vein of, say, his predecessor, Malusi Gigaba, might consider to risk crippling his own "presidential" ambitions. Zweli Mkhize was touted as a possible replacement for Gigaba, but he too has ambitions that do not suit the country's needs. A political animal is not the type of financial officer the country can afford right now. The argument for a Mkhize-type appointment was that as politician, he carried the required "gravitas" to deal with the competing forces in the ruling alliance and to better manage calls for "radical" transformation while at the same time keeping the markets calm. While Gigaba could neve...

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