Top 5 on Fin24: Widespread approval for Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet

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Cape Town – A roundup of Tuesday’s top economic and finance reads on Fin24.

Who’s in and who’s out: How Ramaphosa shook up SA’s economic cluster

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Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced a major shakeup of the ministers in South Africa’s economic cluster.

Following his swearing-in as President earlier in the month, a Cabinet reshuffle by Ramaphosa was widely predicted.

But the new president played his cards close to his chest until he made the announcements just after 22:00 on Monday night during a brief address at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. 

Banking association commends Ramaphosa on Nene appointment

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The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) has applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet as a “significant step” in boosting investor confidence, in particular welcoming the return of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, BASA managing director Cas Coovadia said the new Cabinet is a step in the right direction towards winning back much-needed investor confidence.

But he added it was not all good news.

“While we welcome these changes for the most part, we remain justifiably concerned about the retention of compromised individuals still under the cloud of state capture and maladministration,” he said.

Chamber of Mines welcomes new minister Mantashe as ‘man of integrity’

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The Chamber of Mines has welcomed the appointment of Gwede Mantashe as South Africa’s new minister of mineral resources, calling him a man of integrity and dignity.

The chamber’s comments are a sharp u-turn from the public animosity that existed between the mining body and Mantashe’s predecessor Mosebenzi Zwane. The chamber openly called for Zwane to be replaced, saying its members had lost faith in him and could not work with him.

Zwane and the chamber, which presents represents 90% of South African mining companies, became embroiled in a court battle over the controversial reviewed Mining Charter last year, which lead to a breakdown in their relationship.

Shoprite sees rising SA confidence fuelling growth

sHOPRITE

Shoprite [JSE:SHP] said rising consumer confidence in South Africa could fuel higher sales growth as the food retailer increased the dividend and reported market share gains in its home country.

The half-year payout to shareholders will be raised by 14%, about in line with a year ago, Shoprite said in a statement after the market closed on Monday. That followed a six-month period in which the Cape Town-based company extended its lead over local rivals and positioned itself to build on that dominance.

“There is definitely a groundswell of optimism” in South Africa, CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said at a presentation in Cape Town on Tuesday. “I am optimistic about the economy and that growth will come.”

The owner of chains including Shoprite and Checkers is adding stores at home and in sub-Saharan Africa, even as business conditions in many countries have been subdued by weak commodity prices and a shortage of foreign exchange.

FirstRand head Johan Burger to retire

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FirstRand [JSE:FSR] announced on Tuesday that its group CEO Johan Burger will retire on March 31, with his deputy Alan Pullinger taking over his position. 

Pullinger, currently FirstRand’s group deputy CEO, will take over from Burger on April 1. 

The financial services holding company, which contains First National Bank and RMB, said Burger will stay on as an executive director of the group until August 31 2018. Then, subject to regulatory approval, he will transition to the role of a non-executive director in early September 2018.

FirstRand chairperson Laurie Dippenaar said that for the past three years Burger and Pullinger have been “jointly driving execution on the group’s growth strategies”.

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