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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

Sought-after fellowship for Deaf Kovsie academic
2012-04-25

 

Magteld Smith
Photo: Provided
25 April 2012

For a Deaf person to achieve academic excellence in a sound-dominated world is extremely challenging, but Ms Magteld Smith sees each challenge as another opportunity.

Ms Smith, a Medical Social Researcher at the University of the Free State (UFS), recently received the Herbert H Humphrey fellowship. She is one of only two South Africans to receive this fellowship.
 
The Humphrey Fellowship Program provides mid-career professionals from designated countries around the world with an opportunity to enhance their professional capabilities through participation and is developed specifically for small clusters of Humphrey Fellows at 18 selected US universities.
 
It was initiated in 1978 to honour the memory and accomplishments of the former Senator and Vice-President, Humbert H. Humphrey. Fellows are selected based on their potential for national leadership and commitment to public service, in either the public or private sector. The programme provides a basis for establishing long-lasting productive partnerships and relationships between citizens of the United States and their professional counterparts in other countries, fostering an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.
 
Ms Smith applied for this fellowship, but was still very surprised when she heard her application was successful.
 
“Upon receiving the news, in my mind I saw an enormous rotating world globe and I asked my Heavenly Father, "What is happening now?" I saw big libraries with books, laboratories, state of the art technology for people with hearing impairments, big cars, big houses, big trucks, big farmers, big women and the White House with big trouble. Furthermore, I saw how the UFS became the world leader of academic excellence and change for people with disabilities with high technology manufacturing and rehabilitation programmes.”
 
Ms Smith says Prof. Jonathan Jansen, UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, is a great asset, because for the first time people with disabilities are high on the priority list.

 

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