Minister Godongwana in die media

Ek het hierdie week gewonder wat ons van die nuwe Minister Enoch Godongwana kan verwag. Presies watter mengsel van staat en mark staan hy voor? Gaan hy die gesprekke kan lei oor die groot afkope wat ons moet maak? Die laaste paar dae was daar uitstekende dekking hieroor in die media en ek deel graag ‘n paar aanhalings en skakels (dit is ongelukkig meestal premium artikels waarvoor mens ingeteken moet wees, maar teen R120 per maand beveel ek dit sterk aan).

Die Financial Mail het ‘n lekker lang en omvattende artikel oor die nuwe Minister. Daar is agtergrond oor sy loopbaan en vertel van die moontlikheid dat hy hande kan vat met die sakesektor.

many CEOs are mightily relieved that Godongwana is taking on the mantle. His language of pragmatism and conciliation is reassuring to the markets

Daar word ook verduidelik hoe Minister Godongwana anders is as Tito Mboweni:

“For all Mboweni’s peccadillos you knew exactly where he stood on issues: the fiscal framework was “sacrosanct”, SA’s public finances were “dangerously overstretched”. … the critical point was that Mboweni believed in liberating the economy from the manacles of a weak, inefficient state to boost private-sector participation and raise SA’s competitiveness. Godongwana, speaking the diplomatic language of a newly picked cabinet minister, hasn’t yet explained if he shares that deep belief in free markets.”

Hulle maak ook die punt wat ander maak oor sy invloed binne die ANC:

“… the emerging consensus is that Godongwana, as the more astute ANC politician, will be better at building political alliances to support the fiscal stance, resulting perhaps in slower consolidation but, ultimately, a more sustainable policy trajectory.”

Godongwana’s many supporters argue that while he won’t be as loud as Mboweni, he can actively work to find better solutions than his predecessor.

In outlook, however, Godongwana says he and Mboweni are “very similar”, even if their methods differ. His approach to the unions would be “different”, as he has a relationship with them — he says he knows how to “lift the level of debate for the common resolution of differences“.

Maar die artikel vra die harde vraag of hy werklik die ideologiese toutrekkery sal kan aanspreek en Suid-Afrika se fiskale posisie kan konsolideer.

As the head of the ANC’s economic transformation committee, Godongwana may have saved the ANC from its worst excesses on issues such as nationalisation, land expropriation and prescription — while mastering the art of producing vague, watered-down compromises in the guise of economic policy. But a softly-softly fiscal approach just won’t cut it any more.

In ‘n verwante artikel vra Khaya Sitole hoe moeilik dit gaan wees om die werk/denke van die hoof van die ekonomiese transformasie komittee te skei van die werk/denke van die Minister van Finansies.

Justice Malala sê die nuwe minister is genoeg van ‘n swaargewig om die werk te doen – hy het deur die hele Zuma administrasie populistiese beleid beveg.

Laaste het die Goewerneur van die Reserwebank, Lesetja Kganyago, nie oor die Minister gepraat nie, maar presies sy vinger gesit op die probleme wat hom in die gesig staar. Business Day rapporteer die antwoorde wat hy gegee het tydens ‘n onlangse onderhoud:

Kganyago said there was a failure in SA policy discourse to frame the trade-offs that are necessary in any decision-making. Policy issues were picked up which involved expenditure without considering what effect this would have in other areas in a situation of finite resources.

The tragedy of the SA discourse at the moment is that we think everything is a priority and (therefore) we cannot engage with society so that society understands that there are trade-offs to be made.”

He said the political leadership of the country needed to frame the trade-offs. “We seem to give South Africans an impression that this country can do everything and provide everything and not have difficult conversations with society, that society must make choices.

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