BBC Africa is reporting Pravin Gordhan has become South Africa’s third finance minister in less than a week. Gordhan, who was appointed Sunday, warned that state-owned companies should not be used as “personal toys”. He also stated the country “will stay the course of sound fiscal management”.
Gordhan’s comments are important in a week that saw the Rand (South Africa’s currency) plummet after President Jacob Zuma fired previous Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in a widely criticized move. It is believed that Nene was fired because of his position on a deal with state-owned South African Airways and financial decisions that would potentially block President Zuma’s closed nuclear deal with Russia.
Quartz Africa reports:
“The abrupt dismissal of Nene led to intense criticism of Zuma’s management style and spooked investors. The rand fell steeply against the dollar and the benchmark stock index at the Johannesburg exchange shed close to $11 billion in a matter of days.
During his time as finance chief, Gordhan was seen as a fiscal conservative, a helpful reputation at a time when the markets are nervous about South Africa’s debt and spending levels. Yesterday, the news of Gordhan’s reappointment was accompanied by a 5% jump in the rand against the dollar. Local stocks are also rallying today.”
South Africa is the continent of Africa’s second largest economy.