Tito Mboweni: Want to get a big mining deal in SA? First, call Jeff Radebe

When we met in Davos almost a quarter century back, Tito Mboweni explained in some detail how one needed to be “hard boiled” within the ANC to understand its ethos and functioning. The former activist from Tzaneen has since occupied big stages, first as a minister in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet and then serving with distinction as the Governor of the SA Reserve Bank. After his stint in Pretoria, he accepted numerous private sector appointments, including chairmanship of AngloGold Ashanti. When Mboweni stepped away from the multinational group’s board due to “other commitments” rumours were rife he would soon return to Government to succeed Pravin Gordhan as SA’s Minister of Finance. He has never commented on whether that was even on the table. But Mboweni hasn’t held back on this week’s astonishing disclosures that three members of Jacob Zuma’s cabinet approached SA’s major banks in an apparent attempt to get them to re-open the recently closed Gupta accounts. Mboweni took to his Facebook page to express his bemusement – the “Bra Jeff” he refers to is Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe. – Alec Hogg

From Tito Mboweni’s Facebook page:


Tito Mboweni from his facebook page,
Tito Mboweni from his facebook page,

1) So company A finds an iron ore deposit in Tzaneen. It is estimated that mining will be over a period of fifty years. Local job creation, all sorts of empowerment programmes, local procurement policies and others in place. Your kind of dream black empowered mining company. Ticks all Minister Zwane’s boxes. Great! Hallelujah !

2) Company A approaches the big four banks for funding. All sorts of data analysis (access to data bank), capital risk, reputational risks, etc sorted. Answer to the application: SORRY WE CANNOT FUND YOU! TOO RISKY! COMMODITY PRICES UNCERTAIN ! CHINA GROWTH DECLINING!! Blah, blah, blah…

3) Company A forgot to call on bra Jeff to sort the banks out! Wow! In a democracy! Wow! Next time, Company A, wake up, go to bra Jeff man/woman!! You are snoozing through the deals. Reputational Risk, what risk? Amazing stuff.

4) At least I can confirm that I have “lived in interesting times”!



21 April 2016

He followed this up with some more humour….

I forgot a very good old English expression: TO SIT ON A POUND SEAT! Company A should think about that. Once you are seating on the POUND vs PENNY seat, the doors open…. The Banks…. The iron ore mine… Holiday in Florida… Golf at St Andrews… Fishing on Lake Baikal in Siberia… Fly not first class but PRIVATE JET from Lanseria.. And a game farm with some expensive good looking animals for the Europeans… Oh dear, I am getting myself into trouble. …..

And some of the comments

Tito Mboweni comments