The surprise axing of Finance Minister Nhanhla Nene has been met with shock, while South Africa’s currency has received a pounding on the news.
Mmusi Maimane, federal leader of the Democratic Alliance, call announcement by President Zuma that he has fired Nhanhla Nene as Finance Minister a reckless and dangerous move that further damages our country’s economy.
“Accompanied by no reasons for such a drastic move, one can only conclude that tonight’s action is yet another example of how President Zuma puts himself first and the country second,” Maimane says. “It is common knowledge that Nhanhla Nene sought to reign in excessive government spending and was causing too much of a blockage for President Zuma in respect of the nuclear procurement deal and SAA.
“President Zuma has made one thing very clear: if you stand in my way as Finance Minister and seek to introduce fiscal prudence, you will find yourself redeployed and cast aside. A Zuma ANC government has no regard for sensible finance policy that puts South Africa first.
“The firing of Nhanhla Nene has already had profoundly negative effects on the rand which has plummeted since news of the announcement broke. This is sure to make the plight of the unemployed in South Africa even more difficult.”
The announcement from the president states only that he has decided to remove Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, “ahead of his deployment to another strategic position”, with Member of Parliament, David Van Rooyen, taking over the portfolion.
Van Rooyen currently serves as a Whip of the Standing Committee on Finance and as Whip of the Economic Transformation Cluster. He is a former Executive Mayor of Merafong Municipality and a former North West provincial chairperson of the South African Local Government Association.