Between May 2014 and 2016, four individuals occupied the office of Minister of Finance of South Africa, with Pravin Gordhan, who left in 2014, returning again in December 2015. Among those that occupied the office was Nhlanhla Nene.
Nhlanhla Nene became South African Finance Minister in 2014 and left in December 2015. Nene was appointed by Jacob Zuma, who as well sacked him.
Before becoming a minister of Finance in South Africa, Nene held various positions at various levels. Apart from playing party politics, he has as well played a significant role in the country’s national politics.
Nhlanhla Nene was born in December 1958 in the small town of Kranskop. The town is situated on the edge of the Tugela River valley in KwaZulu-Natal.
He got his secondary education from Gcothoyi Adult Centre. Nene continued his education with B.Com Honours in Economics safely in his bag. Other certificates Nene has include Diploma in Marketing Management, Advanced Diploma in Economic Policy, and Certificate in Economic Policy. Also, he has a certificate in Macro and Micro Economics, as well as in Evaluating Macroeconomics Strategies.
Nhlanhla Nene got his certificates from various institutions within and outside the country. Among such institutions are University of Western Cape (UWC), University of South Africa (UNISA), and University of London. He as well attended Williams College in Massachusetts.
The former minister is married and he has three grown children.
Since the early 1990s, Nene had started his professional journey. The man started as a party man with the African National Congress (ANC), from where he continued and held various political offices. His climax however, is his control of the office of the Finance Minister of South Africa.
Between 1994 and 1999, Nene served as chairperson for Ntunjambili Development Forum, which was a social development organization. He was also the caucus chairperson and Local Government councilor under ANC from 1996 to 1999. More so, between 1997 and 2000, he was the regional secretary of the ANC Ukhahlamba region. At this time he doubled as Chairperson of Kranskop Policing Forum until 1999.
For more than 16 years, Nene was a Member of Parliament, representing the African National Congress in the National Assembly. This was between June 1999 and December 2015. He was also Co-Chairperson Joint Budget Committee in the assembly from 2005 to 2008. In preparation for hosting the first FIFA World Cup on the African Continent, he served as a director, Local Organizing Committee in 2010.
Before his appointment as minister of finance in 2014, Nene was deputy minister of finance from 2009 to 2014.
After Pravin Gordhan left office on 25th may 2014, Nhlanhla Nene was appointed the same day by Jacob Zuma to head the treasury of the country.
As Minister of Finance in South Africa, most people and economic experts were of the opinion that Nene performed well. Although he didn’t serve for a long time, he was praised for standing against reckless spending of government as well as promoting good economic policies for the country.
The removal of Nene from office, it was believed, was in reaction to his stand against some negative economic dealings which were supported by the government. His decision not to grant SA Airways permission to amend its deal with Airbus regarding plane purchase and leasing was allegedly fingered to be the immediate cause for his sack.
The deal was based on an agreement South Africa entered in 2002 with Airbus for the purchase of 20 aircraft. While 10 had been supplied, the remaining 10 would have been due in 2017. However, because of increase in price which would cause the country higher, the office of the Finance Minister of South Africa designed a leasing plan that would save the country much Rand. However, the SAA had drawn another agreement of involving a local leasing company which would cost the country even higher.
Before the deal however, Nene refused signing a nuclear deal with Russia which could cost South Africa close to a trillion Rand. Those who stood to benefit greatly from the deal were the Guptas, who were allegedly Zuma’s allies. This according to some sources, added to other reasons why the president wanted him out.
Nene’s removal from office had an immediate effect on the Rand and the country’s Economy. It was reported that his sacking had cost the country around R500 Billion in the equity market. Also, with his departure the Rand fell to 15 Rand per Dollar. This response was a day after he was axed.