May 25 2014 APPOINTED
Nene takes over from Pravin Gordhan when President Jacob Zuma announces his new Cabinet. Nene served as deputy finance minister from 2008.
September 22 2014 NUCLEAR
Russian nuclear agency Rosatom announces that it will supply South Africa with eight reactors at a cost of $50 billion. Rosatom back-peddles and says it had not a made the deal, but suspicions remain that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has struck a deal without Treasury’s approval.
March 13 2015 MUNICIPALITIES
Nene tells 59 badly run municipalities that he will not release their monthly Local Government Equitable Share grants because of their failure to pay creditors like Eskom.
April 1 2015 TENDERS
Treasury launches the eTender publication portal, the first step towards making tenders more transparent and eliminating tender corruption. When the central supplier database goes live next year, it will allow the SA Revenue Service to verify tax certificates and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission to verify BEE certificates, and will spot government officials who are doing business with the state. The new system should radically reduce opportunities for corruption.
July 24 2015 JOBS
Nene paints a bleak picture at the ANC national executive lekgotla, warning that fiscal constrains mean the government cannot create any new public sector jobs for the next two years. His report, Economic Outlook and Fiscal Policy Challenges, says money put side for new capital projects and new policy initiates will have to be diverted to fund the public sector wage increase.
August 21 2015 FAKE DOSSIER
A fake intelligence dossier – Project: Spider Web – details a plot by white leaders to keep control of Treasury post 1994. Nene initially dismisses the dossier as a joke, but then reconsiders, saying it could be dangerous.
August 24 2015 NUCLEAR
Treasury is finally included in discussions around the nuclear deal. Nene says he won’t sign off on the deal unless it is affordable and unless it complies with the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act.
November 22 2015 SPENDING
Nene reveals in a parliamentary reply that as part of Treasury’s austerity drive, it has turned down 39 of the 56 requests by government departments for luxury spending, including business-class flights, luxury cars, extra credit cards and alcohol budgets.
November 27 2015 MUNICIPALITIES
After Nene’s intervention in March, most municipalities sign repayment agreements with Eskom and various water boards, but as of September 27, many of them had breached their repayment agreements. Nene warns he will invoke section 216(2) of the Constitution and cut off all money to these municipalities unless they fall in line.
December 3 2015 SAA
Nene rejects SAA chair Dudu Myeni’s plan to renegotiate the Airbus aircraft acquisition deal. Without informing Treasury, Myeni wrote to Airbus in September telling it the board of SAA had decided on a different deal to the one Treasury approved in July. Treasury publicly warned the SAA board that if it went ahead with any new deal, it would “constitute an act of financial misconduct” and could lead to sanctions against the board.
December 4 2015 RATINGS
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgrades South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to BBB status, only one rating above junk status. Fitch retains its BBB rating, but moves its outlook from “stable” to “negative”. Despite these ratings, agencies praise Nene’s performance.
December 9 2015 FIRED
President Jacob Zuma announces that he is “removing” Nene.