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Mboweni Says South Africa Needs Bold Action to Transform Economy

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa needs “bold, decisive, courageous and responsible action” to transform its economy, said Tito Mboweni, the former chairman of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. who declined a nomination for a seat in Parliament.

“We need deep-seated economic transformation,” former central bank governor Mboweni said on his Facebook Inc. page yesterday. “We cannot proceed like we have been doing.”

After winning May 7 elections, African National Congress President Jacob Zuma is set to name his cabinet a day after he is sworn into office for a second term on May 24. Mboweni was named by some political analysts and economists as a possible candidate for finance minister if Zuma doesn’t reappoint Pravin Gordhan to the position.

South Africa’s economy, the continent’s second largest, has suffered from dwindling investor confidence amid credit-rating downgrades, a weakening currency and a series of strikes. Zuma and government ministers have said black ownership in the economy needs to be increased. Two decades after the end of apartheid, black citizens on average earn a sixth of what their white counterparts do and 1.9 million households have no income, census data shows.

Mboweni, 55, who was nominated as an ANC lawmaker, withdrew his name from the list to “push economic transformation” through his Mboweni Brothers Investment Holdings, he said.

“We need capital in order to drive economic transformation,” Mboweni said. “Without capital, we are behaving like we are in a French breakfast picnic.”

Mboweni was reappointed to the ANC’s national executive committee, the party’s top decision-making body, in 2012. He resigned from AngloGold on Feb. 17 to focus on his “increasing portfolio of professional commitments,” the company said at the time.

Mboweni said he will continue his work as a professor of economics at a number of universities and may become a chancellor or chairman of council at a university. He also said he plans to be active in “state structures.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net; Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Gordon Bell, Karl Maier

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