SA presidents vs finance ministers: 1994 – 2015

President Jacob Zuma has removed finance minister Nhlanhla Nene from the finance portfolio – introducing the third new finance minister to the department in just over five years.

South Africa’s longest-standing finance minister was Trevor Manuel, who served in the role since 1994, shadowing former minister Chris Liebenberg for 3 years before taking over completely.

Manuel was finance minister throughout Nelson Mandela’s presidency as well as Thabo Mbeki’s presidency, totalling 15 years in the job.

He resigned from the role, along with many other Cabinet ministers, after Mbeki was recalled, but he returned to the position under Kgalema Motlanthle’s short time as president.

When President Jacob Zuma came to power in 2009, he appointed Pravin Gordhan to the role, where he served for five years.

In 2014, at the start of Zuma’s second term as president, Gordhan left the portfolio, and was succeeded by his deputy, Nhlanlha Nene.

Nene had the shortest tenure as finance minister, having kept the position one year and seven months before being dropped and replaced by the unknown David van Rooyen.

The following diagram shows South Africa’s presidents and their finance ministers.

South African Presidents vs Finance Ministers
South African Presidents vs Finance Ministers

SA’s finance ministers

Trevor Manuel

  • Tenure – 15 years
  • Qualifications – Matriculated; National Diploma in Civil and Structural Engineering; Executive Management Programme from Stanford National University, Singapore.

Pravin Gordhan

  • Tenure – 5 years
  • Qualifications – Honorary Doctorates in law, commerce and technology

Nhlangla Nene

  • Tenure – 1 year 7 months
  • Qualifications – B.Com Honours degree in Economics from the University of Western Cape (UWC); a Diploma in Marketing Management; an Advanced Diploma in Economic Policy.

David van Rooyen

  • Tenure – TBD
  • Qualifications – Advance Business Management Diploma; Diploma in Municipal Governance; Certificate in Municipal Governance; Certificate in Councillor Development; Certificate in Municipal Finance; Certificate in Economic & Public Finance; Masters Degree in Public Development and Management.

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