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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

A tale of many cities – new dictionary of place names reveals our heritage
2015-01-28

 

‘The Dictionary of Southern African Place Names’ provides not only the answers, but also gives insight into how our places and our people were shaped. Penned by three academics from the University of the Free State (UFS), it is the fourth edition of this fascinating book.

Prof Peter Raper from the UFS Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment, together with his colleagues Prof Theodorus du Plessis and Dr Lucie Möller, created more than a reference book. They provide the reader with deeper understanding of events, our heroes, beliefs, values, fears and aspirations.

Jonathan Ball Publishers describes the book as “the most comprehensive glossary of Southern African towns, villages, railway stations, mountains, rivers and beaches. The 9 000 short entries incorporate data from sources dating as far back as 1486, encapsulating the linguistic and cultural heritage of all the peoples of the subcontinent, past and present.”

And what would the origin of the name Bloemfontein be?

This dictionary provides the following answer.

“Capital city of the Free State and judicial capital of South Africa. It was established in 1846 by Major HD Warden at a fountain on the farm Bloemfontein, originally owned by a Griqua, Mauritz Pretorius. It has been claimed to have been named after a person with the surname Bloem, or in honour of the Khoikhoi chief Jan Bloem, or after an ox with this name. Probably, however, it was named after flowers growing at the fountain, from Dutch bloem, ‘flower’, fonteijn, ‘spring’. The name is thought to be a translation from a Bushman name of which Mangaung is the Sotho adaptation; ma- is the Sotho plural prefix or class marker; the component ngau is comparable to the Bushman word //au, ‘flower’, and the final ng is cognate with the locative demonstrative ?, ‘that (one) there’. Bloemfontein attained municipal status in 1880.”




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