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New finance minister to bring stability into S. African economy

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-10-10 16:48

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's newly appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni would bring stability into the country's stagnant economy and his appointment showed that President Cyril Ramaphosa's government is serious about turning the economy around, economic experts said on Tuesday.

Mboweni, a former governor the the country's Reserve Bank, replaced Nhlanhla Nene, who resigned from his position with immediate effect on Tuesday.

Lumkile Mondi, a senior lecturer at the Wits School of Economics and Business Science, said the change sent a good message to investors.

"Tito Mboweni brings stability, credibility and certainty. I'm looking forward to him making huge contribution in the country that has been mismanaged for 10 years," Mondi said.

The latest cabinet change came at a crucial time as South Africa struggles to grow an economy that is in a technical recession, to create employment and attract investors.

Nene had been under pressure to step down after misleading the public about the number of times he met with the controversial Gupta family.

Last week, he apologized for meeting the Guptas at their home and businesses between 2010 and 2014. During a 2016 interview, Nene lied, claiming he had only met the Guptas at social events.

Somadoda Fikeni, from the University of South Africa, also said the new finance minister's appointment will help stabilize the economy.

"It will stabilize the financial markets because it is usually sensitive to instability and uncertainty," Fikeni said. "Tito Mboweni is recognized globally and will calm the market and reassure people."

Jannie Rossouw, head of the Wits Business School of Economics and Business, said the appoitment was a positive development.

"He (Mboweni) is a very capable person. He will be a good minister of finance," Rossouw said. "At the same time, we have to respect Mr. Nene for doing the honorable thing."

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