Godongwana takes control of the purse strings as Ramaphosa lets Mboweni go

05 August 2021 - 21:26
By kgothatso madisa AND Kgothatso Madisa

ANC economic policy chief Enoch Godongwana has emerged as the new finance minister after Tito Mboweni's request to leave the post was granted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made this announcement on Thursday night as he confirmed multiple changes to his cabinet. Ramaphosa said that Mboweni had long asked to be relieved from his duties.

“I have accepted a long-standing request by minister Tito Mboweni to be excused from his position as minister of finance. Minister Mboweni took up this position after the sudden departure of former minister Nhlanhla Nene in October 2018.

“Since then he has effectively and ably steered National Treasury through extremely difficult economic times, providing leadership and instilling confidence. I am grateful to minister Mboweni for responding to the call I made to him to serve our nation at its time of great need,” said Ramaphosa.

Tito Mboweni stepped down as finance minister, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday night. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER Tito Mboweni stepped down as finance minister, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday night. File photo.

Godongwana has been leading the economic transformation subcommittee of the ANC's national executive committee, which gives direction on the country’s economy.

He is also the chairperson of the Development Bank of SA, a position he is now expected to step down from to avoid potential conflict of interest.

Godongwana had previously served as deputy minister of public enterprises and later as deputy minister of economic development under former president Jacob Zuma.

Godongwana resigned from government in 2012 after a controversy over his involvement in a company that had allegedly defrauded millions of rand of workers' pension funds. He holds a master's degree in financial economy from the University of London.

Ramaphosa announced that the ministry of state security had been scrapped, and political oversight of the country's spies would now be located within the presidency under the leadership of deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa.

Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele has been appointed as the new minister in the presidency to replace the late Jackson Mthembu.

Joe Phaahla is minister of health after the resignation of Zweli Mkhize.

“I am grateful to minister Mkhize for his service to our country, particularly for his outstanding leadership in the phase of the worst pandemic in our a century,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said the wide-ranging changes were to improve the capacity of government so that it is able to effectively undertake its tasks.