Nene’s ax­ing saw 148 000 jobs lost, econ­omy re­mains bad

The Sunday Independent - - METRO -

NA­TIONAL Trea­sury direc­tor-gen­eral Dondo Mo­ga­jane this week told the Zondo Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into State Cap­ture that the coun­try had not fully re­cov­ered from the im­pact of Nh­lanhla Nene’s fir­ing as fi­nance min­is­ter in De­cem­ber 2015, which sent the mar­kets into a tail­spin with ques­tions on why he was re­moved.

He was re­placed by lit­tle-known ANC back­bencher Des van Rooyen, who lasted four days be­fore for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was forced to bring back Pravin Gord­han as min­is­ter of fi­nance to “calm the mar­kets”.

Mo­ga­jane said it was un­likely that the JSE re­cov­ered from the mas­sive hit it took through mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion: “There was a cat­a­strophic fall of the rand. We saw about 148 000 jobs be­ing lost in terms of the model that we ran, we saw a re­duc­tion of about R378 bil­lion in JSE mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and we also saw an im­pact of at least 1.1% cost on the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by the end of 2017,” said Mo­ga­jane.

He said the im­pact of the de­pre­ci­ated rand and knock on the mar­kets could still be felt.

Mo­ga­jane said he had been sad­dened by Nene’s dis­missal as it was un­nec­es­sary and cost the coun­try bil­lions of rand in mar­ket in­vest­ments

Ev­i­dence leader ad­vo­cate Vin­cent Maleka asked about the ex­tent of busi­ness the Gupta fam­ily did with the gov­ern­ment and how much they made.

For­mer deputy fi­nance min­is­ter Mce­bi­sis Jonas tes­ti­fied that the Gup­tas boasted to him about how they made R6bn out of gov­ern­ment con­tracts, and wanted to in­crease the rake-in to R8bn. Jonas said he was of­fered a R600 mil­lion bribe and Nene’s po­si­tion of fi­nance min­is­ter in 2015 by the con­tro­ver­sial fam­ily.

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