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David van Rooyen sworn in as new Finance Minister

Van Rooyen replaces outgoing minister Nhlanhla Nene who was sacked on Wednesday evening.

David van Rooyen was sworn in as South Africa’s new Finance Minister on 10 December, 2015. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - David van Rooyen has been sworn in as South Africa's new Finance Minister on Thursday afternoon.

He took his oath of office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Van Rooyen replaces outgoing minister Nhlanhla Nene, who was sacked in a surprising move by President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday evening.

He says it is with great honour that he takes on the task given to him by Zuma.

Van Rooyen said, "Mine is a colossal task that comes at a time of a difficult global climate. Only after I have met the Treasury team will I conduct engagements with the media."

The new finance minister has committed himself to ensure every policy is directed at creating favourable investment conditions leading to the development of South Africa.

LISTEN: Zuma axes Nene: More questions than answers.

Van Rooyen appears to have no illusions about the task ahead of him.

"Mine is a colossal assignment which comes at a time when the global economic outlook isn't favourable for emerging markets."

He says his goal is to encourage economic growth in South Africa.

"I will ensure that every policy is directed at creating favourable investment conditions leading to the development for South Africa."

Zuma left the room without answering any questions on the development which has rocked South African markets.

The rand earlier tumbled to a record low on the news.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) is concerned about the president's removal of Nene, saying that decisions that affect confidence should be weighed up carefully.

The chamber says the consistency of South Africa's macro-economic policy environment is of paramount importance for trade and investment.

The chamber says the business community is looking forward to hearing Zuma's reasons for removing Nene.

Meanwhile, economist George Glynos says Zuma's decision is difficult to accept because Nene was doing a fine job.

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