The Director General of National Treasury Lungisa Fuzile has resigned.
Fuzile has been at treasury for 20 years.
His contract was due to end in May next year‚ but last week he requested then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to allow him to leave a year early on May 15.
A national treasury statement downplays his resignation‚ saying‚ “He has been indicating his desire to leave the Treasury for some time”.
“In the past few days‚ Fuzile has been focusing on ensuring a smooth hand-over to Minister Malusi Gigaba.”
Fuzile is highly respected and takes with him years of institutional memory when he leaves the treasury.
His resignation follows the axing of his boss by Pravin Gordhan last week by President Jacob Zuma and the firing of Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.
“On continuity‚ Fuzile says his departure and that of his previous principals should not necessarily lead to a change of course as the mandate of National Treasury is reinforced by the Constitution and a number of other legislations‚” the statement says.
Fuzile is quoted as saying: “National Treasury officials are competent‚ highly skilled professionals who are very conscious of their higher duty. Their commitment and diligence is not attached to a Minister‚ and they will continue to serve the nation to ensure protection of the fiscus and the sound financial management in South Africa under the current leadership of Minister Malusi Gigaba”.
On Tuesday‚ treasury put out a statement reaffirming its commitment to sound fiscal policies saying it had not changed the way it had operated despite having a new finance minister.
Standard & Poor’s rating agency has downgraded South Africa foreign debt to junk status since Gordhan was fired.