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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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Meet our Council: MEC Tate Makgoe – A proud vision for all
2016-06-07

Description: Tate Makgoe  Tags: Tate Makgoe

MEC Tate Makgoe
Photo: Stephen Collett

The MEC of Education in the Free State, Mr Pule Herbert Isak Makgoe, is serving his third term on the UFS Council.

MEC Tate Makgoe, as he is known, holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the Technikon Vaal Triangle, a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Unisa, an Honours in Commerce degree from the UFS, and a Master’s degree in Business Leadership from Unisa.

Early years
From an early age, he was acutely aware of the delicate and volatile political landscape in the country caused by draconian apartheid policies. He has been active in the political realm since 1984, when he left the country to join the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, in exile.

“I have devoted my life to the disadvantaged and marginalised in order to realise fully the objectives of true political transformation, and the total eradication of grinding poverty,” he says. His political activism landed him in Sun City prison from 1986 to 1991.

After the unbanning of the ANC, MEC Makgoe became a Northern Free State regional executive member and, in 1994, he was appointed as the ANC’s election campaign manager in the Free State. He has also served as provincial treasurer, and as a member of the executive committee of the ANC in the province.

MEC Makgoe’s current position

After serving as MEC in five portfolios in the Free State Province at different times - Finance, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Agriculture, Public Safety and Security, and Finance – MEC Makgoe was appointed as MEC for Education in 2009, a position he has held ever since.

In 2014, he received the prestigious Ubuntu Award for Education by the Turquoise Harmony Institute for his outstanding leadership role in steering the department to produce the highest matric pass rate in the country of 87,4%. Previous recipients of the Ubuntu Award include late former president, Nelson Mandela, and anti-apartheid struggle icon, Ahmed Kathrada.

Recipient of Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award

MEC Makgoe is also a former recipient of the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award. The Cum Laude Award is bestowed occasionally on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement on regional, national, or international level in his/her field of work. He is married to Ivy, and the couple have three children: Palesa, Maki, and Junior.

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