It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has battered the local economy and even with industries gradually reopening, there is still a great deal of uncertainty. In light of that, the minister of finance Tito Mboweni has argued that getting the economy up and going again, even post-COVID-19, shouldn't be the sole responsibility of government and that it would require all hands on deck.
Mboweni: 'Let's get the economy going'
In another series of late night tweets, on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, Mboweni emphasised the importance of all relevant stakeholders coming together and playing a role in greater economic value chain.
"Let's get the economy moving. Don't expect Government to do everything", the minister said in part.
"Then build relationships with all other (organisations): law societies, medical and other professionals. That's how one ignites local and municipal development. Then local state institutions", Mboweni went on.
Then build relationships with all other organizations:law societies, medical and other professionals. That’s how one ignites local and municipal development.Then local state institutions!You see!Let’s get the economy moving.Don’t expect Government to do everything.All have a role— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) September 1, 2020
Finally. Let us emancipate ourselves from the “Statist” mentality. The state this, the state that! The state, private enterprises, big and small, cooperatives, farmers, academics, engineers, etc. Pulled together in a common local, district and national plan. Leadership is key!— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) September 1, 2020
Being the one who calls the shots at National Treasury, the minister is undoubtedly a central figure in determining the how the local economy navigates, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.
He also said the chamber movement was an integral part of local economic and business development.
Since the start of the nationwide lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa has rolled out a series of measures, including relief schemes, to cushion the blow.
A number of industries have been affected by the crisis, particularly personal services, trade, catering, hospitality, transport, storage, and communications.
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already been roped in and has granted the country a R70 billion loan – a move which many government critics, including opposition parties, have vehemently protested.
"The pandemic is evolving in South Africa at a challenging time. With severe structural constraints to growth, economic activity has weakened over the last decade despite significant government spending, resulting in high unemployment, poverty, and income inequality", the global lender said at the time.
As if that wasn't enough, Mboweni's Director-General Dondo Mogajane has said government was projecting a loss of close to R300 billion in revenue by the end of the year.
"We are committed to stabilise debt so that it peaks at 87 percent debt to GDP by 2023-2024 and starts declining thereafter", he told the IMF.
"Ahead of the medium-term budget policy statement in October, some debt reduction will be achieved as a result of the expenditure reviews that we are currently conducting", Mogajane further said.