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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. 

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UFS warmly welcomes prospective students at Open Day
2016-05-19

Description: 2016-05-14 Open Day Blfn Tags: 2016-05-14 Open Day Blfn

Prospective students of 2017 were treated to an Open Day filled with various activities on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State.
Photo: Johan Roux

"There is a great deal of political and financial pressure on universities in South Africa, and that is exactly why the country’s future leaders need to be trained at the top universities."

With these words, Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), welcomed prospective students in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus as part of the Open Day held on 14 May 2016. The UFS is a place where students can fulfil their dreams.

Learners were welcomed warmly on a cold day filled with various activities, and invited to become part of the Kovsie family. Prospective students were treated to many surprises, like a laser show and a performance by South African Music Award-nominated artist, Kyle Deutsch, who performed his popular crowd hit, ‘Back to the beach’, at the informal welcoming ceremony.

Examples of true Kovsies

Prof Jansen said at the official welcoming that graduating from the UFS does two things: It gives a student a Kovsie degree, and it helps to make them decent human beings in a divided country. He encouraged the learners to be as humble as the World 400m champion, Wayde van Niekerk, and to love without borders like Tanya Calitz, the Kovsie Dux of 2015. They are examples of what it means being a true Kovsie.

An information centre – which included on-site applications and a stall with KovsieGear merchandise – was stationed in the H van der Merwe Scholtz Hall, while residences and student associations also had stalls on campus. In the Main Building, parents were able to meet Prof Jansen.

Deans and faculties encourage

Apart from various presentations and interaction with staff, the learners were also welcomed by the deans of their faculties. Prof Danie Vermeulen, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, said they must study what they love. “Live your own dream. That is why you come to university.”

“The UFS Faculty of Education is a training centre for leaders. We develop leaders with a commitment to serving the community,” said Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo, Dean of the Faculty of Education.

Click here to see a highlights video of the Bloemfontein Campus Open Day, or here for a video of the Qwaqwa Campus Open Day.

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