Manuel gave South Africa 20 years of economic stability

2014-03-12 00:00

TREVOR Manuel’s main legacy is one of macro-economic stability, political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said in reaction to the news that Manuel will retire from politics.

“The fact that Manuel is a patriot cannot be doubted. He just got more and more tired of an ANC that is not striving towards its ideals,” said Matshiqi.

Manuel was a committed public servant and he believed that the governing party could change the world, Matshiqi said.

“He did however realise the ANC is no longer interested in [changing the world].”

Theo Venter, a political analyst at the North West University, said Manuel will always be remembered for fiscal discipline.

“Manuel grew to become the most successful minister of finance yet in South Africa,” Venter said.

He added it was Manuel’s ability to be critical that had made him so successful.

“He did not hesitate to … say no.”

Venter said the National Development Plan (NDP) was a monument by which Manuel will be remembered. “It is part of his legacy, but he realised that the plan will unravel under new leaders.”

Manuel will also be remembered for the humorous manner in which he presented his annual Budget speech, Venter said.

“He made the Budget speech fun by speaking in different languages and adding a joke or two.”

Manuel’s main legacy is however the economic stability that he created in South Africa, said analyst Prince Mashele. “He stabilised South Africa’s macro-economic system.

“Although he had been criticised for Gear by the alliance partners, I cannot imagine that we would have had the 20 years of economic stability in South Africa without Trevor Manuel.”

He was also a boon for South Africa in the international arena, he said.

“He was the darling of the international community and the right face to represent South Africa during this difficult time.

“Trevor was one of the brightest stars in the cabinets of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. He was definitely one of the top ministers of our time.”

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