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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

A hat trick for Kovsie Master’s student
2016-07-28

Description: Candice Thikeson  Tags: Candice Thikeson

Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State
was the successful recipient of the Abe Bailey
Travel Bursary.
Photo: Johan Roux

Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Bright Young Mind, and now successful candidate of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary. These accolades now all belong to Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State (UFS).

To complete the hat trick, she was declared the recipient of the bursary on 20 July 2016. She follows in the footsteps of Stefan van der Westhuizen, who was the UFS Abe Bailey recipient in 2015.

An unexpected breakfast announcement

Thikeson, Gosego Moroka, and Wonga Mfana were the UFS final candidates for the bursary.

Thikeson, who is currently a Master’s student in Art History and Image Studies, said she never expected to be the successful candidate, but is really grateful. “I would like to thank the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, the Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof Lucius Botes, and members of the Rectorate, and academic staff who gave me the news in such a special way.”

Promoting South African unity abroad

The objective of the bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans to effect greater understanding and co-operation among those from various language and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, it wants to empower those who show exceptional leadership qualities and a strong service ethic, while adopting commitment and effective participation in a common future.

Most importantly, the bursary seeks to promote South African unity. It is awarded each year and consists of a three-week educational tour of England and Scotland. The host in the United Kingdom will be Goodenough College in London.

Thikeson will be overseas from 22 November to 17 December 2016, visiting London, Cambridge, Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Edinburgh in Scotland.

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