/ 4 April 2017

Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile resigns — reports

National treasury director general Lungile Fuzisa.
Lungisa Fuzile (Gallo)

National treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile has asked to resign at the end of the month, a year before his contract ends, according to Bloomberg and Fin24.

Three people with knowledge of the matter confirmed that Fuzile, who has been at the department’s helm for six years, wants to quit, according to the reports.

The treasury boss had told Pravin Gordhan of his plans to leave a day before the finance minister was axed last week when President Jacob Zuma reshuffled the Cabinet. 

Fuzile and Gordhan had started on an investment roadshow to the United Kingdom when Zuma ordered them to return to South Africa. The president said that an “intelligence report” revealed that Gordhan and Fuzile were organising an investment strike meant to weaken his government. 

There are now concerns that Fuzile’s resignation could lead to an “exodus of technocrats in one of South Africa’s best-run government departments in the wake of” the reshuffle. 

South Africa’s credit rating was yesterday downgraded to junk for the first time in 17 years. Standard & Poor’s cited the Cabinet reshuffle as the main reason behind the downgrade. 

Fuzile said on Monday that “People should be allowed to leave. I don’t want to be permanent in my role,” a hint that he was considering leaving the Treasury.