PICTURE: ROGAN WARD It was the battle between South Africa’s traditionalist president and its modernist finance minister that arguably led to the latter’s sacking late last year.Former Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene had focused on governance in state owned enterprises and capital projects that were unaffordable for the country’s economy. That was in the midst of declining mining and manufacturing sectors and a drought stricken agricultural sector.It has been argued that these actions could have irked President Jacob Zuma, leading to Nene’s ousting on December 9, 2015. A younger “clever” and modern young black man had challenged an “elder” in the form of Zuma, which is traditionally unacceptable in the Zulu culture. The events following that evening have been well documented.Nene understood that the increases in revenue collection were not sustainable. It is therefore not surprising that his equally modernist successor Pravin Gordhan indicated in his 2016 budget speech that revenu...

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