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Treasury trumpets stability as key official exits

Tshepiso Moahloli’s departure follows that of Roy Havemann, Catherine MacLeod, Ian Stuart and Khetha Dlamini, all senior Treasury staff.
Tshepiso Moahloli, the head of assets and liability management and the most high-profile woman at the Treasury, last week became the latest senior official to resign. Image: Bloomberg

The South African National Treasury’s succession planning is sufficient to ensure the exit of key personnel doesn’t disrupt plans to return public finances to a sustainable path, its top civil servant said.

Tshepiso Moahloli, the head of assets and liability management and the most high-profile woman at the Treasury, last week became the latest senior official to resign — as new Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana prepares to deliver the medium-term budget. Her departure follows that of Roy Havemann, Catherine MacLeod, Ian Stuart and Khetha Dlamini, all senior Treasury staff who regularly interacted with investors.

While investors have no doubt about the skills and qualifications of the Treasury’s staff, they are concerned there aren’t enough experienced individuals to replace departing veterans like Stuart and fill other vacancies, said two economists who closely follow its personnel changes. They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject.

“Markets shouldn’t be concerned or very worried about people leaving,” Director-General Dondo Mogajane said in an interview September 23. “On a permanent basis, one can’t say that the capacity of the Treasury has dwindled to the point where they have to be concerned.”

Mogajane said he recently signed off on 54 new postings at the Treasury, at various levels.

Investors will look to Godongwana on November 4 for clear strategies to lower debt and reduce budget deficits. That’s after public finances rapidly deteriorated over the past decade, partly due to a series of bailouts for unprofitable state-owned companies including Eskom and South African Airways.

Figuring out how to rein in those debt metrics was a key component of Moahloli’s job. She is being replaced by Duncan Pieterse, the current head of economic policy who’s been with the Treasury since 2013.

In February, the Treasury projected that debt would peak at 88.9% of gross domestic product in the 2026 fiscal year and targeted achieving a primary budget surplus a year earlier. Deviations from the framework could put public finances on an explosive path, the International Monetary Fund warned in July.

Improving metrics

Godongwana’s medium-term budget is likely to show an improvement in key metrics, after changes to the way gross domestic product is calculated increased the size of the economy. Tax revenue has also overshot estimates because of a windfall in mining profits.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power in 2018, has committed to averting a debt crisis and driving through reforms needed to galvanize private investment and tackle record-high unemployment. Godongwana, a ruling African National Congress heavyweight, is a key ally of the president and has advocated for investor-friendly programs. He’s assured the market of policy continuity since his Aug. 5 appointment.

Among key officials whose potential departure economists are concerned about is Ismail Monomiat, the 64-year-old head of tax and financial sector policy. The unofficial retirement age in South Africa is 65.

The Treasury has a “strong” talent pool, with three quarters of senior managers younger than 50 years old and more than half of all staff under 40, Mojagane said.

The annual turnover rate of full-time Treasury staff as at August 31 was 3.9%, compared with an average of 5.5% across all government departments, he said. Systems and processes that have been institutionalised, collective efforts to prepare key policies including the medium-term budget and a strong internal talent pipeline mean operations aren’t compromised by staffing changes, he said.

“Fortunately, the politics are such that they are supportive of us in this environment entirely and we’re not about to just collapse,” Mogajane said.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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All these years they employed Foreigners to do their work…
Now that they have left there is no skill. Some moved into our Reserve Bank where they do nothing but research for their own interest….again wasting the tax payers money… Ask Chris Loeweld

“While investors have no doubt about the skills and qualifications of the Treasury’s staff” – questionable…. Investors go do your homework…. the national treasury doesnt have skills!

This is a great concern, the Treasury is again loosing experienced staff not long after the previous exodus. Economists are correct to worry about the institution, everyone should.

Like everything else under the ANC : in a state of collapse: who in their right minds would work for this lot ?

Yet another institution run into the ground by the incompetence of the ANC…

It has taken quite a while for the penny to drop that Cyril just talks.

Whatever happened to his FDI drive????? Where are those “envoys”?? Are those “envoys” being paid?? If so for what????

FDI dropped by 39% last year??? How do you ‘Employ” people to go backwards and pay them for the pleasure??

The man is clueless and it borders on theft if you don’t stop paying people for NOTHING and throwing money away?????!!!

TSK!!!

Would anyone want to work for the ANC and Bedwetter ??
SARS is the chief revenue generator for the ANC funded looting!!!

Uhm typical. What I learned from apartheid hand over of the country was that the racist white lacks the ability to hand down or mentor they would rather hold their acquired skills as ransom and keep it to themselves. Thus the failure of BEEE the racist white saw this as a chance to sabotage the growth of the country no racist white would hand down skills and expertise they settled to employ incompetent black candidates and kept them in the dark while they held top ranking positions. It was a ruse a show a cold architecture. They just look the part. Fake it till you make it. Or whatever idiot idioms.

Failing to understand you.

But I recall that Whites were kicked out of Government very soon after 94… yes kicked out! Given a package and they took it.
I saw Teachers in schools given a package (500k in 1997/98) and they took it… they all went into Private schools. There was NO focus on transfer of skills. NONE! Stay or take the Package.

The Whites were then told to come back as consultants into Government cos the cadres could not run it.

IF there is a failure to transfer skills, its because the ANC chose to dish out EXIT packages.

I worked hard for my skills, I am not prepared to Share it and I WILL NOT.

There’s nothing wrong here. These individuals have taken better jobs. That’s how it works. They used the treasury as a springboard to progress. Working at treasury offers a lot of opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals.They will be replaced and someone else will do the job.

Everyone is blaming the governing party or corruption. Instead treasury should be commended for producing strong employees who are very much in demand.

Wha ha ha — the list of employees do NOT only include the “previously disadvantaged”
They are all skilled !!

That is right, keep on sleeping with your head under the African sand. What do you smell while down there? Maybe Zim 2.0? Look at the signs of the time, and get worried. Should you still (probably) don’t get it, just trace the value of the Rand against the major currencies during the past 30 years. You took math at school, didn’t you?

We all here desire a stable and save living environment. But you always get these pseudo-cANCer future presidents, like certain red-clothed loud mouthed gods of wisdom, creating the ideal investment destination within their severely limited minds.
Cry the beloved country.

End of comments.

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