economic policy fiscal policy governance political economy public policy

POWER FM: Trudi Makhaya on The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement [Preview]

Trudi Makhaya and Patrick Bond discussed the expectations around the 2017 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on POWER FM hosted by Ayabonga Cawe.

Listen below:

economic freedom governance inspiration

Fate of democratic ideal is in the hands of ordinary people

We enter 2017 as a nation in trouble: from submerged rage, from politesse that hid raw racism, from complacency, from unfulfilled dreams. Last year was not pretty. But is this atmosphere of pessimism, hand-wringing, finger-pointing and lamenting justified? I don’t think so. And I hope this year heralds the beginning of a correction.

The South African project is a work in progress. Indeed, no nation has perfected this kind of creature: a diverse, open and democratic society. The US may come to mind as a prosperous melting pot built by immigrants, but even today it still matters whether you landed on those shores on the Mayflower or in chains. As outgoing President Barack Obama likes to point out, the American ideal has yet to be perfected. There is a gap between ideal and reality that each generation must grapple with.

The South African project was, is and always will be vulnerable to attack. In the early 1990s there was no shortage of critics who predicted how “black rule” would surely fail. The ideal of a diverse, open and democratic society is an abomination to supremacists and nationalists of every hue.

The first generation to lead after apartheid, men and women who became free after a lifetime of battle, rallied around the “rainbow nation” as the vision for the new SA.

economic policy governance

World needs to defy Trump on free trade and globalisation

With hindsight, it is obvious that the Democrats fielded the wrong candidate for the US presidential race. Before getting into the main subject of this column, let me make a brief case for Kanye West, who I believe would have been the perfect opponent for Donald Trump.

West raps regularly about his arrogance (“steam to power my dreams”) and his lofty place in the universe (“I am a god”) and as Mr Kim Kardashian, he understands the reality television playbook.

Trump approached the presidential race like it was a rap battle, dissing the “establishment” and dropping hyperbolic one-liners on Twitter and elsewhere, but a lyricist like West would have shown him flames. The only snag to my time-travel fantasy is that last Thursday, West said that he would have voted for the ginger one.

On a serious note (though not completely dismissing the idea of a Kanye West-Shawn Carter ticket someday), there is very little that would have prepared a mainstream candidate such as Hillary Clinton for the Trump machine. The man poses a challenge especially to those who believe in the linear march of history towards a certain idea of progress. That is progress defined by international trade, tolerance, gender equality, nonracialism and similar ideals associated with modern, liberal free market democracy.

governance Notices

Ramaphosa to oversee SOC turnarounds and other announcements: Cabinet meeting statement

The full statement issued after the cabinet meeting of the 10 December can be found here


Cabinet is concerned about the performance of some of the State-owned companies, in particular South African Airways (SAA), the South African Post Office and Eskom. These State-owned entities play a critical developmental role within the South African economy. The President has assigned the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to oversee the turnaround of three state-owned companies, namely South African Airways (SAA), Eskom and the South African Post Office. Working with the relevant Ministries, the SAA will be transferred from the Department of Public Enterprises to the National Treasury. The Presidency will closely monitor the implementation of the turnaround plans of these three critical state-owned companies that are drivers of the economy.

And has approved some key appointments to SOC executive teams and boards:

To the Board of the Land Bank and Agricultural Development Bank.
a) Prof Abdus Salam Mohammad Karaan (re-appointment);
b) Ms Susan Ann Lund (re-appointment);
c) Mr Mabotha Arthur Moloto (Chairperson);
d) Ms Njabulo Zwane; and
e) Ms Dudu Hlatshwayo.

To the Transnet SOC Ltd Board (Non-Executive Directors):
a) Ms Linda Carol Mabaso (Chairperson);
b) Mr Stanley David Shane;
c) Mr Mogokare Richard Seleke;
d) Dr Gideon Mahlalela;
e) Ms Potso Elizabeth Bridgette Mathekga;
f) Ms Zainul Abedeen Nagdee;
g) Mr Vusi Matthew Nkonyane;
h) Mr Peter George Williams;
i) Mr Brett Gerard Stagman;
j) Ms Yasmin Forbes (reappointment); and
k) Ms Nazmeera Moola (reappointment).

To the Eskom SOC Ltd Board (Non-Executive Directors):
a) Mr Zola Andile Tsotsi (reappointment and Chairperson);
b) Ms Chwayita Mabude (reappointment);
c) Mr Norman Tinyiko Baloyi;
d) Dr Pathmanathan Naidoo;
e) Ms Venete Jarlene Klein;
f) Ms Nazia Carrim;
g) Mr Romeo Kumalo;
h) Mr Mark Vivian Pamensky;
i) Mr Zethembe Wilfred Khoza;
j) Dr Baldwin Sipho Ngubane; and
k) Ms Devapushpum Viroshini Naidoo.

Geoff Qhena has been re-appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the Industrial Development Corporation. The rest of the IDC Board Members will be announced by the Minister Patel in the next few days.

Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Bank, Mr TP Nchocho with effect from 1 January 2015 on a five year contract to 31 December 2019.

Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Dr Daniel Mmushi Matjila with immediate effect, for a period of five years until 30 November 2019.