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Nhlanhla Nene returns to role of South Africa’s finance minister

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The South African government has reappointed Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister almost four years after he was removed from his post.

Nene served as finance minister from May 2014 to December 2015. He succeeded Pravin Gordhan and presided over the government’s economic strategy before being abruptly fired. The stock market went into a panic and the rand fell dramatically against the dollar.

South Africa went through three finance ministers before new President Cyril Ramaphosa opted to bring back Nene as part of a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle. Nene will have to implement his predecessor’s budget plan before he makes any major changes. This includes a new carbon tax, a hike in VAT and ‘sin taxes’ on tobacco and alcohol.

“Nene’s appointment as Minister of Finance has been welcomed by the business community,” Anne Bennett, partner at Webber Wentzel, told International Tax Review. “Nene is viewed as a man of integrity who brings credibility and the implied promise of good governance to the role. He also has experience in the private sector.”

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