Mboweni ap­point­ment ‘a con­fi­dence boost for SA’

Business Day - - AUCTIONS -

SA’s new fi­nance min­is­ter Tito Mboweni will be a sub­stan­tial boost for both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness con­fi­dence in SA.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Joff van Ree­nen, com­ment­ing wear­ing the dual hats of PR direc­tor of for the South African In­sti­tute of Auc­tion­eers (SAIA) and lead auc­tion­eer and direc­tor of the coun­try’s pre­mier prop­erty auc­tion house, High Street Auc­tions.

Mboweni was ap­pointed on Tues­day just hours af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of Nhlanhla Nene, who stepped down fol­low­ing tes­ti­mony last week be­fore the state cap­ture in­quiry that he had met with mem­bers of the Gupta fam­ily sev­eral times be­tween 2009 and 2014.

“Both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness is likely to be al­most as ac­cept­ing of the new fi­nance min­is­ter as they were of the rock-steady Pravin Gord­han.

“Mboweni has a fine rep­u­ta­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally, not least of all from his decade-long ten­ure as gov­er­nor of the Re­serve Bank. The min­is­ter has a sub­stan­tial track record in gov­ern­ment, he has demon­strated knowl­edge and skill in mat­ters of labour re­la­tions and his ap­proach to pol­icy has been bal­anced and fair.”

Van Ree­nen says the com­po­si­tion of the Cabi­net isn’t yet a “dream team” and there is sig­nif­i­cant ground to cover to reestab­lish in­ter­na­tional in­vestor con­fi­dence in SA af­ter the rather sor­did de­tails of the at­tempted state cap­ture came to light.

“Hav­ing Mboweni in the fi­nance hot-seat and Gord­han at the helm of state en­ter­prises will go a long way though to­wards calm­ing jit­ters over the next few months and turn­ing off the flood­gates of cap­i­tal out­flow.

“The mar­kets have nat­u­rally been tur­bu­lent this week on the back of, among oth­ers, the fi­nance port­fo­lio change and the US in­ter­est rate in­crease but there’s no doubt we’ll see the rand’s per­for­mance im­prov­ing in fairly short or­der and af­ter that a turn-around in long term for­eign busi­ness in­vest­ment.

“The auc­tion in­dus­try leads a fairly charmed life in that it is by and large less af­fected by overt changes in busi­ness sentiment ei­ther way be­cause our ser­vices are equally in de­mand in pros­per­ous and tu­mul­tuous pe­ri­ods, but we cer­tainly won’t com­plain about more money com­ing into cir­cu­la­tion.

“This is equally true for the prop­erty in­dus­try, be­cause cap­i­tal in­flow pro­motes busi­ness growth and there­fore fu­els the nec­es­sary as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture de­mands such as com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­erty.”

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