- A tweet shared by the first black Reserve Bank Governor since the dawn of democracy in South Africa trended this weekend as Tito Mboweni listed tasks to create radical economic transformation (RET)
- Mboweni’s seemingly exasperated tweet asked “what is so difficult?” as he ended a short prayer asking leaders to do 4 things for RET
- 40 percent state ownership of mining companies, state control of banking, government land use planning and the creation of a sovereign wealth fund were tasks listed in the tweet
More than one person reacted to the seemingly frustrated tweet prayer of the former Reserve Bank governor this weekend by pointing out that the policies he was calling for already existed in the strategy of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Briefly.co.za noticed on Saturday that Tito Mboweni, the first black Reserve Bank governor in democratic South Africa, was calling for the greater socialisation of capital.
His plea began with a plaintive: ‘Dear God, open the eyes and ears of our Leaders’ and ended with the words: “What is so difficult?”
Former liberation movement members, including the ANC government have for many years spoken about steps to right the wrongs of the past. The plan to create greater equality to reverse centuries of oppression in the country is described in terms of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).
Critics have said not enough has happened to foment change for people after more than two decades of democracy.
Mboweni on Twitter, said the leadership needs to do four things: “The State must own 40% of mining companies, start a State Bank, implement appropriate Land Use Planning and Create a Sovereign Wealth Fund. That is Radical Economic Transformation!!”
He then said three items were most urgent.
The suggestions Mboweni makes are not unprecedented globally. The state in other African countries such as Botswana take a direct stake in mining firms. Norway has the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund into which much of the profits from its oil industry are invested and diversified.
Locally, the EFF has long called for the nationalising of all mining and land as well as the establishment of a state bank, which basically represent Mboweni’s four suggestions, taken significantly further along the socialist route.
However, it is in his further explanations of how he feels land needs to be allocated that Mboweni’s suggestions most echoes the EFF call for all state land to be state-owned or controlled.
In tweets following on from his four task prayer, Mboweni expounded on his suggested tasks. He said government needed to act to plan and demarcate land use to ensure that land is clearly set out for “housing, agriculture, grazing, forestry, tourism, leisure, schooling, hospitals, etc. Now, before people do their own will.”
Mboweni also said he felt the most urgent task would be to “allocate land immediately for residential purposes. Urgent. Really URGENT!!”
In reactions to his tweets, some accused him, and others applauded him for “thinking like the EFF”.
Mboweni, who some felt might come back into politics ruled himself out as a contender for a cabinet minister position under new president Cyril Ramaphosa, and has been focusing his attention on farming in Limpopo most recently.
Aside from the tweets setting RET tasks, his recent tweets indicate an interest and support of historical tourism.
During last year’s release of the controversial CIEX Report the former governor angrily dismissed the Public Protector report which dealt in part with the recovery of bailout funds paid to Bankorp during the apartheid-era.
His suggestions, while praised by some of his followers, were also widely criticised for the suggestion that government take more control of resources when it seemingly couldn’t run the existing parastatals effectively.
Some even suggested that his suggestions would pave the way for further looting of state resources by self-interested politicians.
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