All eyes are on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to see whether he can win the trust and respect of the markets, says Business Day Deputy Editor Carol Paton.
Paton argues that Gigaba will face 10 tests which will help South Africa and international markets determine where he stands in terms of his fiscal priorities.
There are a lot of choices that he as Finance Minister is going to be able to make along the way.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day
Last week, credit ratings agencies S&P and Fitch both downgraded South Africa to junk status in the wake of President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle.
Treasury's Director General (DG) Lungisa Fuzile resigned after the reshuffle which saw Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas booted from the finance ministry.
According to Paton, Gigaba's first major test will be who he appoints in Fuzile's place.
She explains that Gigaba could either appoint a Treasury insider or someone chosen from "a list drawn up from somewhere else" - a phrase which was previously used to describe the newly appointed Cabinet ministers.
I think who he appoint as DG is going to be the first big, big test.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day
This comes amid speculation that ANC MP Brian Molefe may be given the position of Treasury DG.
There is no doubt that there is a question mark over Brian Molefe's integrity.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day
If he wants to succeed as Finance Minister, which I think he does, these are the things that people are going to be watching out for.— Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day
Paton unpacked the other tests which await Gigaba, including enforcement at state-owned enterprises such as the SABC.
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Gigaba's pick for Treasury DG first big test as Finance Minister'