DELPHINE GOVENDER: All rather tired of surprises
Corporate SA has not asked Tito Mboweni or other finance ministers for all that much — just no bombshells, please
On Wednesday, Tito Mboweni became the fourth finance minister in five years to deliver SA’s national budget. That kind of dynamic just doesn’t sit well in any country, developed or developing. Not only does it reflect a possible flip-flopping of policy, but it is also symptomatic of a broader environment of uncertainty in which the finances of the country are managed. In SA, this uncertainty has indeed transmitted itself to the economy at large. Or, perhaps, it is an exact transmission of the state of the country. As investors in companies, we are in the business of dealing in uncertainties, which is why we pursue a portfolio management approach. In contrast, leaders of operating businesses mostly hitch their wagons to a specific sector or industry. Those sectors, in turn, function within broader macroeconomic, regulatory, geopolitical and practical environments — any of which can work as a tailwind or headwind. For the past few years, SA corporates have experienced these factors as...