Replacing of finance minister lays bare risks of operating in Zuma’s South Africa

In depth
Issue 314 - 17 Dec 2015 | 9 minute read

Even in a country that has become accustomed to scandal and incompetence at the highest levels of government, the sudden “strategic redeployment” of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene on 9 December caused public outrage and market turbulence. Nene was replaced by unknown backbencher David van Rooyen, a man with no experience of national government. The rand fell to more than R16 to the dollar, South African government bond yields spiked, and equity in South African banks took a hammering, in what one banking source described to African Energy as the biggest domestic economic shock to hit the country since the end of apartheid rule in 1994.

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