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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

Student from Atlanta, USA joins TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform group
2012-09-11

Kanesha Gillyard from the USA .
11 September 2012

 The university and the Spelman College in Atlanta, USA had a joint research venture that ran from June to August 2012. We had the honour of hosting one of the students from Spelman in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Kanesha Gillyard joined the group from the TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

This was the first time that Kanesha had left Atlanta. This is what she had to say about her trip to Africa:

“I was met with a bright smile and open arms on my first day. The university staff and overall student body have embraced me. Furthermore, the Biotechnology Department has made me feel like I am family. Every day I was given the opportunity to work with a group of people dedicated to their goals, persistent regarding their purpose and fluent in speaking the many dialects of this universal language.

My first week here at the university was like walking into a whole new world.

I have learned many valuable lessons after experiencing life in South Africa for the past two and half months. From adjusting to a new environment and broadening my horizons to becoming trilingual in English, Afrikaans and the new universal language of virtue, I have grown tremendously. Being a “Kovsie” for two months and obtaining an invaluable wealth of knowledge has left me with the confidence of a winner, passion of a dreamer and heart of a nurturer. In essence, this experience has taught me the scientific method to repeat in order to reach for infinity and beyond.”
 

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