Shift In South Africa

The sudden departure of Finance Minister Derek L. Keys for "personal reasons" has made the markets and business nervous and handed Nelson Mandela's government a defeat. Keys, a holdover from the de Klerk administration, had pulled off the tricky task of winning wide support for a budget that socks the wealthy and middle classes with a substantial levy to pay transitional costs but avoids the wild new spending some African National Congress politicians want. Keys's successor, top banker Chris Liebenberg, 60, also enjoys the respect of the business community. But there is some concern about whether he has the political skills and connections to sell fiscal discipline.

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