Ramaphosa sings Mboweni’s praises, debunks speculation over his future in cabinet

Finance minister Tito Mboweni is doing a good job, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

Finance minister Tito Mboweni received a resounding vote of confidence on Friday from his boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who dismissed speculation that he was looking for a replacement for the former central bank governor.

The president said he has no plans to replace Mboweni in the cabinet, he was doing an “extremely” good job and leading a solid team at the National Treasury.

“I know nothing about the replacement of the minister of finance. This is news to me,” he said.

“There is no such plan, there is no such intention and there is no such discussion as well,” added Ramaphosa.

He said Mboweni continued to do his work and was doing it extremely well.

Ramaphosa raved about a solid team that Mboweni has built at the National Treasury, saying it represents the demographics of the country and is in the main made up of young people who are demonstrating that they have come to grips with complex matters of finance.

He sought to debunk a view that the Treasury no longer has the gravitas and standing it used to have in government. “They are really the pride of the nation and [the] minister leads that team and he’s been doing very well indeed,” said Ramaphosa.

He also dismissed claims that he had approached central bank governor Lesetja Kganyago to take over from Mboweni, saying their discussions had not gone beyond the monetary policy.

Ramaphosa was responding to speculation in the media that Mboweni wanted out of his cabinet.

He was non-committal when asked about the vacancies in his national executive, after last month’s death of minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu and that of deputy minister Bavelile Hlongwa in September 2019.

Ramaphosa said they are giving consideration to filling these vacancies and that at the appropriate time, decisions will be taken and announcements made.

by Andisiwe Makinana

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