Until there is swift implementation of structural reforms to accelerate economic growth, government’s economic recovery attempts post-COVID-19 will be just a pipe dream, according to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. He was answering oral questions from cabinet ministers in the economic cluster.
Mboweni says the responsibility for structural rejuvenation is not the government’s task alone but also that of other stakeholders of society.
“Structural reforms are not just a matter of the government. They are the matter of government working together with labour, private enterprises, and community organisation cooperatives and everybody else that is economically active, working in tandem to achieve economic objectives that (support) economic growth, employment and distribution. So, therefore, we have conceptualised the idea of Operation Vulindlela which is operation ‘Open the way’ to unlock the blockages that might be there, in the government but also in the private sector.”
SAA money is not a bailout
On South African Airways (SAA), Mboweni refuted claims that the R10.5 billion given by the government to the airline is a bailout. He announced in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement last week that the money was allocated to the national carrier to implement its business rescue plan.
Minister Tito Mboweni delivers Medium-Term Policy Statement:
Mboweni says the money is earmarked for the restructuring of SAA which makes it incorrect to describe the funding as a bailout.
Mboweni has defended his decision to appoint former political journalist Ranjeni Munusamy as a community outreach officer or political secretary despite her being implicated in certain allegations at the State Capture Commission.
Responding to an oral question in Parliament, asked by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu, Mboweni reiterated that Munusamy was appointed according to the letter and spirit of the law.
He said the facts and the explanations brought by Munusamy before him about the allegations against her were enough not to doubt her competency. He says should new evidence be provided to him disputing her version, Munusamy will be shown the door.
“I have satisfied myself in terms of the facts before me that until such time that any findings have been done, I don’t see … in fact I have gone through the matter quite systematically. When I was interviewing her for the job, I asked her questions regarding that and I am satisfied that she can work in the office and be able to do her job very well. If she was going to be found somehow to have committed wrongdoing somewhere, she will obviously be frog-marched out of my office. But for now, I have no reason not to work with her. She is highly competent. She is highly connected politically.”
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