The appointment of Tito Mboweni as South Africa’s new finance minister will calm markets and provide confidence to foreign investors given his experience as a former cabinet minister and central bank governor, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) said.

The ACDP believes the new minister will adhere to strict fiscal consolidation measures required to stabilise state finances and inspire investor confidence in the economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday appointed Mboweni to replace Nhlanhla Nene who resigned over his meetings with the controversial Gupta family at the centre of a probe into state capture. Nene denied helping to further the Guptas interests but conceded he should have been more upfront about his encounters with them.

“We believe that Minister Mboweni’s appointment will be well-received by investors and the markets, given his extensive experience as governor of the South African Reserve Bank, where he championed inflation targeting, and opposed populist decision-making,” said the ACDP.

“He will no doubt adhere to strict fiscal consolidation measures required to stabilise state finances and inspire investor confidence in the economy,” the party added, noting that the rand had strengthened after Mboweni’s appointment.

The currency, which had breached 15.00 against the U.S. dollar due to both domestic concerns and the global impact of trade wars, was on firmer ground at 14.54 early on Wednesday.

The ACDP urged Ramaphosa to follow through on his commitment to good and clean governance by considering removing other “far more contentious ministers”.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The Church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” In his book, The Culture of Disbelief, Yale legal scholar Stephen Carter laments that “our public culture more and more prefers religion as something without political significance, less an independent moral force than a quietly irrelevant moraliser, never heard, rarely seen”. There has clearly developed a disconnect between spirituality and the various facets of society.

Dr Vusi Shongwe, who worked in the office of the KwaZulu-Natal premier, issued a similar lament in his article for the Mail and Guardian (13 April 2017), “The Church’s role is to be political”. He said: “Since 1994, that critical and militant voice has been muted. Prominent theological thinkers such as Frank Chikane and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa were absorbed into the government machinery, making it difficult for them to raise their voices as prophets. This development has led to paralysis in theological and ecumenical reflection on socio-political, economic and cultural realities.”

He went on to state: “The Church has been silent on endemic corruption in the public and private sectors. It has been silent on violent crimes against women, children and the elderly, and on the unabated carnage on our roads. It has not spoken out about the contradictions in what South Africa’s freedom fighters died for and the current culture of entitlement and the obscene levels of opulence juxtaposed against abject levels of poverty, or about the violation of human rights, whether by multinationals, corporates, mines or individuals.”

Dr Shongwe cautioned against the temptation of ‘mudslinging’ and challenges the Church to “do theology in context — in social, economic and political contexts”. He argued: “South Africa needs to hear what the Church is thinking and saying in the present political context. The Church cannot extricate itself from politics because it cannot refrain from the task of reflecting on the implications of its faith within the political context.” He also quoted Joseph Ratzinger who maintains: “For politics to recover its sense of direction, what is needed is the recovery and public recognition of those moral norms that are universally valid. This will remain ineffective if not accompanied by the integrity of those who hold public office. Such integrity alone engenders trust.”

PRAY:
For President Ramaphosa to remain strong in his efforts to eliminate government corruption and restore confidence

  • For the South African Church to regain its prophetic voice
  • For South African believers to fulfil their responsibility to pray for their leadership

Written by: ACDP
Article Source: ACDP Media Statement

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