Mboweni fired from Brics Bank

Na­tional Trea­sury re­fuses to re­new his con­tract as a board mem­ber

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba has con­firmed the ax­ing of for­mer South African Re­serve Bank (SARB) Gov­er­nor Tito Mboweni as a board mem­ber of the Brics Bank.

Gi­gaba also said yes­ter­day his deputy Si­fiso Buthelezi will join the bank as the al­ter­nate gov­er­nor.

The min­is­ter’s con­fir­ma­tion comes a week af­ter Mboweni com­plained on so­cial me­dia that he was fired by the gov­ern­ment. But in a state­ment, Na­tional Trea­sury said Mboweni’s term of two years as a board mem­ber of the Brics Bank had ex­pired.

The for­mer gov­er­nor of the SARB wrote on Face­book that de­spite his con­tract ex­pir­ing at the be­gin­ning of last month, it was a re­new­able con­tract and the gov­ern­ment did not re­new it.

Na­tional Trea­sury said its di­rec­tor-gen­eral Dondo Mo­ga­jane would take over the po­si­tion held by Mboweni at the bank.

“The nom­i­na­tion of Mr Mo­ga­jane by the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Malusi Gi­gaba and sub­se­quent ap­point­ment will en­sure that no ad­di­tional costs are in­curred fur­ther by the gov­ern­ment in re­mu­ner­at­ing an ap­point­ment from out­side of pub­lic ser­vice, while also en­hanc­ing strate­gic align­ment and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the gov­ern­ment of South Africa and the bank,” said the Na­tional Trea­sury.

The Trea­sury said Mboweni’s con­tract was for two years and it ended last month. It added that the ap­point­ment of Mo­ga­jane, Buthelezi and the Trea­sury’s deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral Monale Rat­soma as an al­ter­nate board mem­ber was in line with the prac­tice of other Brics mem­ber states to ap­point gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the bank. Buthelezi will serve in the bank as the al­ter­nate gov­er­nor.

Mboweni has been out­spo­ken in re­cent times and when Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane re­leased her re­port in June re­com- mend­ing the SARB pow­ers be clipped by Par­lia­ment, Mboweni warned against this. Mkhwe­bane has since changed her po­si­tion and did not con­test the ap­pli­ca­tion of the SARB on her rec­om­men­da­tion.

Mboweni had said the SARB’s in­de­pen­dence must be pro­tected as it is done in many other coun­tries. This was crit­i­cal for the mar­ket and fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will next week Thurs­day for­mally open the Brics re­gional of­fice in Joburg. When he fired Nh­lanhla Nene as fi­nance min­is­ter in De­cem­ber 2015, Zuma said he would head the Brics re­gional bank, but Nene never got the job.

The for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter has since joined the pri­vate sec­tor. The re­gional of­fice will pro­vide fund­ing for projects on the African con­ti­nent.

Some of the state-owned en­ti­ties have al­ready gone to the Brics re­gional cen­tre to ask for fund­ing for their multi­bil­lion-rand projects.

PICTURE: MASI LOSI

Tito Mboweni stands on the bal­cony of his for­mer of­fice at the SA Re­serve Bank.

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