Since photos of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni strutting his stuff in a beat-up pair of what look like farmer’s work shoes at the ANC national executive committee briefing emerged yesterday, his footwear choices have become something of a talking point.
The minister appears to like styling himself as a common farmer-type man (he does farm in Tzaneen) who flies economy class and eats a lot of pilchards.
Twitter was divided about this style, with some thinking the finance minister should dress a bit more sharply, while others pointed out that politicians are often criticised for spending too much money on designer brands. So the country should just make up its min about what it wants.
EFF’s Julius Malema wears Gucci and Louis Vuitton, y’all complain talmbout “He could’ve used that money better”
Minister Tito Mboweni pulls up dressed comfortably, y’all mock him.
— Minister of Skits ⚖️ (@fash_ngobese) October 3, 2019
Designer shoe brand Crockett & Jones even saw a chance to market themselves on the back of the jokes.
Dear Minister @tito_mboweni, we’d like to introduce you to @CrockettJonesZA footwear, made in SA & the preferred choice of those seeking to make a bold statement. Find our range online here: https://t.co/A79q2znLo1#ProudlySA #TitoMboweni #Tito #NationalTitoDay @Tlale_large pic.twitter.com/xLwXKJmqOo
— Crockett & Jones (@CrockettJonesZA) October 3, 2019
This is the South African Minister of Finance, @tito_mboweni, travelling Economy Class, yet his country runs the biggest economy in Africa. Here in Zimbabwe, the President is taking 90 people with him to the United Nations General Assembly, yet he can’t put medicines in hospitals pic.twitter.com/ydgSNRHsaP
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) September 17, 2019
Yesterday, the ANC endorsed Mboweni’s plan to get rid of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that have been malfunctioning, offering to bring in worker and social models of ownership in running these entities.
It became clear from his smile and cracking of jokes with journalists at the media conference that Mboweni has had his way as the governing ANC top brass largely accepted his economic recovery blueprint.
In an unprecedented move, Magashule and his archrivals, Mboweni and chair of the ANC economic transformation subcommittee Enoch Godongwana, jointly addressed the briefing.
Magashule had in the past differed with Mboweni and Godongwana on ANC economic policy approach, including whether the Reserve Bank mandate should be changed.
Godongwana said the NEC approved Eskom’s restructuring into entities for generation, transmission and distribution but stressed this was not privatisation.
He said although Mboweni’s document was accepted, it did not necessarily mean that Cosatu and the SACP were fully satisfied with some aspects of it but the party was determined to meet them at Alliance Political Council level.
The council was where the three partners discussed mutual interests and tried to reach compromises.
(Background reporting, Eric Naki. Compiled by Charles Cilliers)