Ramaphosa appoints new finance minister

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Local media reported earlier this week that Nene had written to Ramaphosa, requesting that he be relieved of his duties in cabinet.

Ramaphosa made the announcement from Tuynhuys in Parliament. Ramaphosa has said combating graft is one of his top priorities, and he's replaced a number of other officials implicated in wrongdoing.

The former central bank boss will have his work cut out for him, coming as the economy contracts, raising concern that the country may not be able to balance its books as required by ratings agencies. Nene chose to resign from the post on Tuesday morning following a public outcry sparked by his public apology last week over his multiple meetings with the Gupta family at their private home.

South Africa's finance minister has resigned after acknowledging missteps during the scandal-tainted tenure of former president Jacob Zuma while testifying in a corruption inquiry. "For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again", Ramaphosa said.

However, the Mail & Guardian revealed on Friday that in 2014 the PIC - which Nene chaired - had gone to great lengths to assist Siyabonga's business partner in a venture in Mozambique. Nene said during his testimony to the inquiry he was sacked in December 2015 for refusing to agree to Zuma's plans to spend billions of dollars on new nuclear plants. It said Nene's conduct in meetings with members of the Gupta family had been "unethical conduct of lying and misleading the public about his relations with the Gupta criminal syndicate".

"Ideologically and in terms of macroeconomic policy thinking, President Ramaphosa may have appointed the finance minister he always desired in his cabinet". He remained active in politics, and was elected to the ruling African National Congress's decision-making national executive committee at a party congress in December.

When Ramaphosa started his address‚ the rand was trading at R14.7498.

Earlier, at 12.30pm it had weakened, and breached the R15 a dollar mark and traded at R15.004 for a dollar.