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‘Real impact of Nene's sacking will only be felt in months to come’

Questions continue to be raised about the newly appointed finance minister’s experience.

FILE: South Africa's new Finance Minister, David van Rooyen being sworn in on 10 December 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Political analysts say the real impact of President Jacob Zuma's latest move to sack Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will only be felt in months to come.

Questions continue to be raised about the newly appointed finance minister's experience.

David van Rooyen's appointment this week and the sacking of his predecessor have sent shockwaves through the country.

The value of the rand has dropped more than six percent today, touching record lows of R16 to the US dollar and economists say investor confidence in South Africa is the lowest it's been in 20 years.

The move has also seen banking shares drop by more than 10 percent to levels last seen after the 2008 global financial crash.

Analyst Somadoda Fikeni said, "It might be the beginning of something fundamental. Especially if the changes are followed by the continuing of economic difficulties or even downgrading."

Political commentator Sipho Seepe says van Rooyen's experience does matter.

"It is not enough to have somebody knowledgeable; there's far greater knowledge that comes from experience than from certificates."

'THERE'S NO NEED FOR ZUMA TO CONSULT ON THE DECISION'

At the same time, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says there was no need for President Zuma to consult or inform Cabinet of his decision to fire Nene.

Motsoaledi made the remarks at a post-Cabinet briefing in Pretoria today.

Zuma dismissed Nene on Wednesday, just hours after the minister tabled a detailed report on the state of the economy at the Cabinet meeting.

Minister Motsoaledi says there was nothing unusual in the way Zuma fired Nene.

"At no stage are ministers told or Cabinet told when there's going to be a reshuffle. We learn about it in the same way as you do. It's never announced in the Cabinet and it's never discussed."

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says while the economy was on the Cabinet meeting's agenda, the reshuffle wasn't.

"The issue of appointment and removal of Cabinet ministers is the prerogative of the present; this was not discussed at Cabinet."

The new finance minister was scheduled to meet his team today.

OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT

Yesterday, opposition parties condemned Zuma's decision.

Ordinary South Africans also took to social media to react to the decision with the hashtag #ZumaMustFall trending across the country.

While the African National Congress (ANC) said the president did not have to explain his decisions, South Africans on social media reacted with outrage.

Most of the tweets were about the impact Zuma's announcement had on the rand dollar exchange rate.

Along with the hashtag #ZumaMustFall, Dudu Myeni was also trending.

This was due to speculation that Nene was removed by Zuma over his criticism of the controversial South African Airways SAA chairperson.

PATRICIA DE LILLE THANKS NENE FOR HIS SERVICE

Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, earlier used her address in council to thank Nene for his service yesterday.

De Lille described Nene as a "constructive partner" in managing funds received by the city from National Treasury.

She said the former minister stood up for the right thing.

"We all know that he did these things against powerful political interests and it's costing his career. We would like to thank him for his contribution."