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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

SA-YSSP strengthens academic partnerships between countries
2014-11-17

 

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi
Photo: Stephen Collett

Students from all over the world and all walks of life have come together at the Bloemfontein Campus to take part in the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) hosted by our university.

This prestigious academic programme is an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity development programme. The programme is presented in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as well as the National Research Foundation.

Dr Priscilla Mensah, Director of the SA-YSSP, says this programme’s Doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to advance their research under the direct supervision of senior scientists from South Africa and IIASA.

“In line with international trends in doctoral education, the SA-YSSP seeks to advance not only the discipline-specific research skills of the young scientists, but also equip and expose scholars to an array of additional competencies and skills required to be successful in knowledge-driven societies,” Dr Mensah says.

During her keynote address, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, praised the UFS for hosting this successful programme for the third year. “The success of this programme shows in the increase in applicants internationally but specifically in our SADEC regions.”

She said that solutions to the problems in the world require a wide variety of knowledge and integrated approaches to the unique challenges in different countries.

Deputy Minister Magwaza-Msibi also regards the SA-YSSP as a very successful platform to strengthen partnerships with countries.

 

 

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