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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

Ranks of NRF researchers at Qwaqwa Campus strengthened
2014-11-03



From the left are: Profs Birhanu Dejene, Oriel Thekisoe, Drs Aliza le Roux and Geofrey Mukwada. (Prof Riaan Luyt was absent due to being abroad.)
Photo: Thabo Kessah
The list of researchers at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) was strengthened with the addition of Dr Geofrey Mukwada, who will have recognition as established researcher (C) from 2015.

Mukwada is working in the Department of Geography. His research focus is rural livelihoods, sustainable rural livelihoods, conservation of natural resources and climate change.

A total of 119 UFS researchers currently have evaluation and rating status from the NRF, says Nico Benson, Deputy Director: Research Development. Currently (October 2014) 29 researchers are still waiting for response from the NRF regarding applications submitted. A total of 16 ratings are already known. Ratings are valid for a period of six years and researchers are invited to apply for re-evaluation in the fifth year.

On the Qwaqwa Campus, Profs Riaan Luyt and Birhanu Dejene enjoy status as established (C) researchers – Prof Luyt in polymer nano-composites and polymer compounds and Prof Dejene in solar energy (photovoltaic).

Dr Aliza le Roux and Prof Oriel Thekiso are recognised as promising young (Y) researchers. Dr le Roux’s research focus is behavioural ecology, predator-prey interaction, spatial cognition, cognitive ecology, communication, zoology, individual-based modelling, animal behaviour (primates, carnivore biology) and socio-biology (mammals).  

Prof Thekisoe is conducting research on applied molecular diagnostics, ectoparasites, blood parasites, helminthology, molecular parasitology, entomology and parasitology, veterinary parasitology, parasitological techniques, host-parasite interaction and zoonosis.

These researchers are proud export products of the University of the Free State.


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