South Africa's Nene: Breaking under pressure

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Before interviewing a minister of finance, it’s important to be thoroughly prepared. When Euromoney met South Africa’s Nhlanhla Nene in Cape Town in March, we thought it wise to study his most recent budget, his political alliances and his reputation among the electorate. After all, it’s best to be ready for any eventuality.

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But, just before we were due to meet the minister, our plans were completely undermined by an email from a friend. 

This ‘friend’ sent a link to a television interview Nene gave some years ago where his eloquent responses were abruptly interrupted when his chair broke, leaving him sprawled on the ground. 

Unfortunately, the sound of the chair cracking, the image of him flailing behind his desk and the look on the face of the panic-stricken interviewer played on Euromoney’s mind throughout our interview. 

 

It took all of our professionalism to overcome this distraction and pose the searching questions that led to the in-depth feature you can read here.

Needless to say, jokes about the minister heading a standing committee were duly suppressed.

South Africa: Nene’s balancing act

South Africa: Nene’s balancing act

April 2015

South Africa is plagued by slow growth and escalating debt levels. So how can the country’s new minister of finance, Nhlanhla Nene, get the economy moving again while balancing the budget?