It is a good thing, therefore, that finance minister Tito Mboweni is a maverick and can withstand the political heat. It is no secret that he did not want to return to the government and had to be talked into it by President Cyril Ramaphosa. He is not desperate to keep his job.

As dreadful as the messages were in last week’s budget, Mboweni was able to carry the day because of his big personality and because he is not bothered by the pushback from labour, opposition parties and from within the ANC.

According to the Spectator Index, being a newspaper reporter is the sixth most stressful job in the world. Topping the list of those with stressful jobs are enlisted military personnel, fire fighters and airline pilots. In SA, reporting on politics is probably more distressing than serving in the military, seeing that soldiers are, for the most part, not engaged in active combat, while journalists are constantly in the firing line. Soldiers also do not have to rake through the muck daily. In our country, working as a PA to a handsy politician and monitoring the Eskom power grid would probably also rank quite high on the stress index. There are some jobs that are simply not worth the trouble. Being finance minister used to be a position of prestige and great influence. It is a massive responsibility to manage the country’s finances and requires the confidence and trust of the nation. During the Zuma administration the position of finance minister became a joke. Former president Jacob...

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