NEWS

Wondering Who Your New Deputy Finance Minister Is? Introducing Sfiso Buthelezi.

Here's the man who has replaced Mcebisi Jonas.

31/03/2017 01:01 SAST | Updated 31/03/2017 10:26 SAST

For over a year, Sfiso Buthelezi has been touted as the incumbent deputy finance minister. But he has warmed parliament's back-benches as an ANC MP since March last year.

On the last day of March this year, he was finally confirmed into the job. This former adviser to President Jacob Zuma is a seasoned politician and a qualified economist. He has three degrees.

He joined the ANC in 1981 at just 20 years old and served eight years on Robben Island. He was born in Mahlabathini in KwaZulu-Natal in 1981, City Press reported in this profile last year.

Buthelezi was born in Mahlabathini in KwaZulu-Natal in 1961. He was chairperson of the Prasa board for six years and an ordinary member for four years. This passenger rail agency has been beset by crises. He was also the founding chairperson of the National Gambling Board.

Buthelezi is a trusted aide of Zuma's and advised him when the president was an MEC of economic affairs in KwaZulu-Natal many years ago. He played the same role in Mpumalanga to then premier Matthews Phosa.

In March 2016, the Mail & Guardian reported that Buthelezi was the chief operations officer and director of the Makana Investment Corporation –- an investment vehicle for ex-political prisoners, particularly those from Robben Island.

Together with his new minister Malusi Gigaba, Buthelezi will have his hands full for the rest of 2017. Immediately, the markets will need to be calmed. Then, the second order of business will be to try to prevent a credit ratings downgrade to junk status in the June review round by ratings agencies. By October, he and Gigaba will have to prepare a medium-term budget statement.