Former Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene called upon Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) graduands yesterday to play their part in building a new, unique and truly universal civilisation. Nene was speaking at the 2016 MUT graduation ceremony in Umlazi Township where he was honoured by the institution’s Faculty of Management Sciences’ departments of Accounting and Public Administration for his expertise and contribution in the finance sector in both the public and private sector.
Nene, recently announced as the new non-executive director at investment firm, Allan Gray told a packed media briefing held by the University before the event that he is enjoying his first few days at Allan Gray. “I have been in Cape Town for the past couple of weeks at the Allan Gray headquarters. A few days ago, I went through the induction process and other crucial aspects for anyone starting at a new position.” He said the new position and the MUT honour has been a blessing for him and his family. “I have had the pleasure of working at various levels of government and business and that has been a blessing. I miss working at Treasury and any other place I have been a part of.” When asked about his relationship with President Jacob Zuma, he responded: “I have deep respect for the president. He remains my president, the president of the country and that of the ANC.” He highlighted the need for South Africans to regenerate the moral fibre of society and that was the common thread in his keynote address to graduands.
In his address, Nene emphasised the importance of morality in business and warned against corruption and its negative impact of society. He cautioned the aspiring finance and government professionals that they should work hard for their money. “As you go forth into the world, do not pursue wealth without hard work and wealth that is begotten by using unfair, corrupt and illegal means. Don’t be unscrupulous beings that will exploit your own people in a bid to gain instant wealth. Avoid pleasure without conscience or any pursuit in which pleasure is the only consideration.”
He added: “You are now armed with knowledge or rather the tools that will enable you to accumulate knowledge. But remember that knowledge is neutral in the sense that it can be used for both good and evil. Knowledge without character is a weapon of mass destruction and so is science without humanity.”