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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

Monkey research attracts international attention
2016-07-11

Description: Monkey research attracts international attention  Tags: Monkey research attracts international attention

Prof Trudy Turner from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Prof Paul Grobler
from the Department of Genetics at the
University of the Free State, together with one
of the students researching monkey genes.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

For this year’s Summer School programme, Prof Paul Grobler, from the University of the Free State Department of Genetics focuses on research about the conflict between monkeys and humans in areas where monkeys are regarded as problem animals.

Global expert part of research

This year, Prof Grobler is hosting a group of students and lecturers from the United States of America (USA). The group includes Prof Trudy Turner from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), a global expert on vervet monkeys. She has been working with the Department of Genetics at the UFS for the past fifteen years, and has also been appointed as an Affiliated Professor in the department.

“The Summer School programme is an opportunity for the American Primatology students to gain practical experience in Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

International interest in Summer School

This year’s Summer School programme involves four lecturers and nine students. The lecturers are from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Boston University, and Central Washington University.

“We use the genetic information to determine
how monkeys historically infiltrated the
different areas in South Africa.”

This year’s focus is on the genetic structure of the monkeys in South Africa, and research that is being done on the differences and similarities in monkeys from different areas. “We use the genetic information to determine how monkeys historically infiltrated the different areas in South Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

Local nature reserve acting as host

The group will perform field work, including observing monkeys in the Soetdoring Nature Reserve, as well as laboratory work in the department, where they will be assisted by two laboratory technicians.

Two years ago, Prof Grobler and his department tested this idea on a smaller scale, and now they hope to make this a regular event. 

 

 

 

 

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