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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

RSG Crossword Tournament helps to celebrate language
2016-07-27

Description: RSG Crossword Tournament  Tags: RSG Crossword Tournament

Dr Annette de Wet (left), Assistant Director
of the Unit for Language Development in
the Centre for Teaching and Learning at
the UFS, Albe Grobbelaar from XWord,
Prof Angelique van Niekerk, Head of the
Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German
and French, and Prof Lucius Botes, Dean of the
Faculty of the Humanities, during the launch
of the RSG Crossword Tournament.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

Sometimes it is difficult for language departments to be topical and to show their relevance for the people out there. However, with the RSG Crossword Tournament, this became possible and Afrikaans could be celebrated in a positive manner. This is what Prof Angelique van Niekerk, Head of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS), had to say about this initiative.

Interest during the Vrystaat Arts Festival exceeded all expectations. Altogether, 46 participants from across the country participated on 15 and 16 July 2016. Ilse van Hemert from Pretoria was crowned as the first South African crossword champion.

New dimension to language milieu

Prof Van Niekerk said people are familiar with crossword puzzles from the media, and it was the first time that a tournament like this was presented to the public in South Africa. “This tournament brings something like linguistics and linguistic sensitivity to the fore,” she said. “It is another dimension of the language milieu.” This is exactly why her department would like to see it grow in future.

Wordplay serves as inspiration

The idea for the tournament is based loosely on the film, Wordplay (2006), which is set in New York, and the annual New York Times Crossword Tournament. The South African Tournament was presented in conjunction with the crossword group, XWord, Prof Van Niekerk’s department, and the radio station RSG as brand sponsor.

Crossword puzzles and blockbusters crosswords completed

“This tournament brings something like
linguistics and linguistic sensitivity to
the fore.”


Albe Grobbelaar from XWord said the winners were determined on a points basis. “Competitors had to complete two crossword puzzles and one blockbuster crossword. The difference between the two is that a blockbuster’s clues are within the blocks or grid, but with the crossword, you have white and black blocks with the clues separate on the outside.”

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