Lucrative private sector position beckons for Nene?

Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. (Madelene Cronje, MG)

Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. (Madelene Cronje, MG)

Will Nhlanhla Nene head up the Africa regional centre of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA (Brics) nations’ new Development Bank? Economist Dawie Roodt doesn’t think so. He suspects that Nene will land a cushy directorship within the private sector.

It was reported on Friday that Nene, who has been an ANC Member of Parliament (MP) for more than a decade, quit in December but his resignation was processed only last month. He resigned from parliament subsequent to his hasty removal as finance minister by President Jacob Zuma on December 9 last year.

Nene told News24 he felt it was “proper” for him to resign as an ANC MP.

“It is another feather in his cap,” Roodt told Fin24. “The fact that Nene resigned as an MP was certainly the honourable thing to do.”

What distinguishes Nene from other MPs, said Roodt, is his employability.

“If this had happened to one of the other MPs, chances are they would have remained on as an MP simply because they can’t find other jobs. That is the reality. That is the quality of our MPs.

“But Nene is different. Nene has the experience. He has shown himself to be a competent minister of finance. He has shown that he can do the right thing and even stand up to Zuma and I think his resignation from Parliament is another sign of that.”

At the time of Nene’s shock axing, which wiped out billions on the JSE, Zuma indicated that he had been earmarked for a post at the Brics bank based in Johannesburg.

“Is he going to go to the so-called Brics Bank? I don’t think so. I think that Zuma simply used that as an excuse to fire Nene.”

It is widely believed that Nene was axed over his resistance to the government’s nuclear build programme and a loss-making SAA deal.

Will the private sector snap up Nene?
Roodt pointed out that Nene has a good chance of landing a job in the private sector.

“I am pretty sure that the private sector will offer him a directorship somewhere and that is something that very few MPs will be offered – and I think that is also part of the reason why he resigned.”

Peter Attard Montalto, emerging markets economist at Nomura, told Fin24 that Nene’s departure as an MP “proves his deep integrity”.

“He has come through this rough past month with his standing enhanced,” he explained. “He clearly does not want to speak out yet [on his ousting as minister], though [he] gives a subtle hint as to the uncertainty of [whether] this Brics nomination is real or not.”

However, Brics Bank vice president and chief financial officer Leslie Maasdorp confirmed to BDLive last month that Nene was indeed formally nominated by the government to the bank, adding that the role will be filled with urgency. – Fin24



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