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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

Department at the UFS receives special visitors
2008-02-26

 

From the left are: Prof. Hans Ausloos, Prof. Bénédicte Lemmelijn, and Prof. Fanie Snyman (Head of the Department of Old Testament at the UFS). Both Prof. Ausloos and Prof. Lemmelijn are professors in the Old Testament within the Bible Science Investigation Unit of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
Photo: Lacea Loader
 

Department at the UFS receives special visitors

The Department of Old Testament in the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS) has for the first time received a visit from two guest professors from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU) in Belgium who are presenting undergraduate lectures.

What makes the visit even further unique is that the guest professors are a married couple who specialise in the Old Testament.

“Proff. Hans Ausloos and Bénédicte Lemmelijn are visiting the faculty for about a month to present undergraduate programmes. They are part of a co-operative agreement between the UFS and the KU Leuven. This is also a good way of giving our students exposure to European experts,” says Prof. Snyman, Head of the Department of Old Testament at the UFS.

The couple and their three children, Matthias (10), Elke (8) and Ruben (6), are staying in Prof. Daan Pienaar’s house for the duration of their stay. Prof. Pienaar is a retired professor in Biblical Science at the UFS. The children are at school in Universitas Primary School for the duration of the family’s stay in Bloemfontein. “The headmaster was very kind and provided them with school uniforms out of the school’s second hand clothing shop, of which they will not part easily as they do not wear school uniform in Belgium,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

Proff. Lemmelijn and Ausloos cannot stop talking about the charm of the university’s Main Campus. “In Leuven the university is part of the city and the university buildings are situated amongst the city buildings. We do our shopping while the students move from one class to the other! Here, the university is a town on its own and the students are given the opportunity to socialise in a protected environment,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

The couple is also just as impressed with Bloemfontein. “The safety issue in South Africa is accentuated in such a way in Europe that we are astounded by the peaceful and friendly atmosphere of the city. We are also surprised with the shopping centres that are under one roof. In Belgium the shops are situated far apart,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

The couple finds the living costs – especially food – to be quite expensive. “Some basic food is even more expensive than it is in Belgium,” says Prof. Ausloos.

Over and above their commitment to lecture, the couple is also busy with research on the Greek translation of the 12 Small Prophets in co-operation with Prof. Snyman.

“This is the first time that lecturers from the KU Leuven visit the Department of Old Testament for such a long time and are part of the normal curriculum. It is interesting to note that the teaching modules between the two departments resemble each other in such a way that lectures which are presented in Leuven are also repeated here,” says Prof. Snyman.

Both Proff. Ausloos and Lemmelijn are professors in the Old Testament within the Bible Science Investigation Unit of the KU Leuven. They publish articles internationally on the editorial and text criticism of the Old Testament and are involved with international investigative programmes such as the Hexapla Project and Septuaginta-Deutsch. Prof. Ausloos is director of the Leuvense Centre for Septuagint Studies and Textual Criticism and Prof. Lemmelijn is an associate in the centre. Together they have published several financed investigative projects on the characterising of the translation technique of the Greek Bible translation.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
25 February 2008
 

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