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06 March 2020 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Stephen Collett
Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, presented a public lecture at the UFS on 4 March 2020.

With a 7% fiscal deficit on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected by the National Treasury for the 2020/21 financial year, it would not take long to arrive at a dangerous level of debt at the rate that South Africa is borrowing. Although the South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, does not consider a debt to GDP rate of 60% a disaster, he did express his concern regarding the country’s fiscal deficits being over 6% of the GDP.

Governor Kganyago presented a public lecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 4 March 2020, focusing on how we should use macro-economic policy and its role in our economic growth problem.

Unsustainable policies 
South Africa’s fiscal situation is not about tight monetary policy. According to the Governor: “Weak growth is endogenous in our fiscal problems. We cannot keep doing what we are doing and hope that growth will recover and save us. Growth is low, in large part, because of unsustainable policy.”

Avoiding an impending crisis
To address the problem, as a policymaker with more than 20 years’ experience, the Governor suggested that the recommendations made by Minister Tito Mboweni be taken into consideration. “The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, is a man who says things that are true even when they are unpopular. His message is that we have to reduce spending and he is right to put this at the centre of our macro-economic debate,” said Governor Kganyago.

The state needs a radical economic turnaround strategy which is able to diminish the risk of losing market access and being forced to ask the International Monetary Fund for help. Governor Kganyago is positive that such a reformative tactic would go beyond monetary policy and ensure that the interest bill ceases to claim more of South Africa’s scarce resources. 

News Archive

We show our colours in support of autism awareness
2012-04-11

The Main Building on our Bloemfontein Campus will be illuminated in blue till the end of April to show support for autism awareness.
Photo: René-Jean van der Berg
12 April 2012

The Main Building on our Bloemfontein Campus will be illuminated in blue till the end of April to show our support for autism awareness, together with the rest of the world.

April is Autism Awareness Month and various iconic landmarks worldwide will be lit up in blue to honour those with autism.

Autism is one of only three conditions that are commemorated by the World Health Organisation.

Autism is a neurological condition that can be diagnosed in children as young as three years old. Worldwide one out of every 100 children is diagnosed within the autistic spectrum. This means that in South Africa a child is born with autism every hour and in the Free State some 400 children per year are born with the condition.

“Despite the high prevalence of autism in South Africa, South Africans know very little about it,” says Dr. David Griessel, an autism expert of the UFS’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. “Stories and films that attempt to portray autistic characters often create the wrong impression among the public concerning this complex illness. This distorts the reality since every child with autism is unique,” says Dr. Griessel.

He says it is important that all children with signs of autism are referred for evaluation as early intervention can prevent autism from further disrupting normal development.

Therapists and teachers who specialise in autism-specific treatment play an important role in this regard.

“However, there are no well-established services for toddlers in the Free State. Fortunately, there are classes developing in schools such as Lettie Fouché, Willem Postma and Pholoho, as well as in Kroonstad and Welkom. The Free State Autism Association has established a private school that offers a service to seven learners.”

For more information on autism in children or for information on special projects in the Free State, contact Dr. Griessel at +27(0)51 405 53177 or +27(0)51 405 3181.

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