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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

UFS Faculty of Theology hosts expert on African Traditional Religion (ATR)
2016-05-20

Description: African Traditional Religion  Tags: African Traditional Religion

Dr Nokuzola Mndende, Prof Fanie Snyman (Dean of the Faculty of Theology), and Dr Luvuyo Ntombana (Department Head: Religion Studies)

Dr Nokuzola Mndende, an acclaimed theologian, researcher, and practitioner of African Traditional Religion (ATR), is often called upon in the media to offer her expert opinion or participate in interfaith panel discussions. Thanks to an initiative from the postgraduate diploma class in the Faculty of Theology and the efforts of Dr Luvuyo Ntombana (Department Head: Religion Studies; Faculty of Theology), Dr Mndende accepted an invitation to present her paper, “From the periphery to the centre: African Traditional Religion in a democratic state”, on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). In his opening remarks, Dr Ntombana stated that he was heartened by his students’ desire to be “co-workers in knowledge production” by engaging with Dr Mndende.

Dr Mndende’s contention is that African Traditional Religion (ATR) was suppressed throughout colonial times, and, despite a 22-year-old democracy, continues to be moved to “beyond the periphery” by what she terms “spiritual subsets”; those who strive to amalgamate their African Traditional Religion rituals with the practices of Christianity. Quoting statistics from a 1995 survey by the SABC, she stated that ATR is a minority in its birthplace (with only 5% representation), and posed the question: “If ATR is a minority in its place of birth, where is it a majority?” Her presentation put forward the need to study and interpret ATR introspectively, but acknowledged that more “homework” would be needed in this regard.

Dr Mndende thanked the university, Dr Ntombana, and the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof Fanie Snyman, for inviting her, and expressed a desire for the relationship with the UFS to continue.

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