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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

Old Mutual Investment Group invests in our students
2013-07-22

 

Old Mutual Investment Group’s Imfundo Trust scholars with Mr Muhammad Brey (far left) and Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS (far right).
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
22 July 2013

“I am one step closer to entering the corporate world as a young woman. My dream is to work for a large firm and now it is possible,” said Melody Motaung, a B Accounting first-year student. She is one of the first recipients of the Old Mutual Investment Group’s Imfundo Trust scholarship, which was launched at the university recently.

Melody is one of seven Kovsies and 91 students countrywide to benefit from the R20 million trust, aimed at empowering black professional people in the financial sector. Kovsies is now one of eight universities whose students benefit from the trust. It already empowers students from the University of Johannesburg, UNISA, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of the Western Cape, University of Fort Hare, Stellenbosch University and Rhodes University.

”The UFS embodies the excellence and innovation we are looking for in tertiary institutions,“ Mr Muhammad Brey, trustee of the trust, said during the launch. He conveyed that the main aim of the trust is to address the shortage of black professional investors in South Africa and to expand the source of suitably qualified individuals in the asset management industry.

The seven recipients, all of them female first-year students, were encouraged by the speakers to do their part in addressing South Africa’s skills shortage in the financial sector.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, said with the assistance of the Old Mutual Investment Group, the students – four of them B Accounting students – will help to address the shortage of chartered accountants in the country. “As qualified financial experts, they can make a big contribution.”

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