DA, EFF differ on Tito Mboweni's messages on SAA, Reserve Bank

2018-11-02 18:54
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. (Adrian de Kock/ Netwerk24)

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. (Adrian de Kock/ Netwerk24)

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The DA has hailed new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's views on SAA, while the EFF has described them as "right wing and reactionary".

Mboweni, speaking at an investor conference in New York, said he thought it would be best to close SAA as it was a "loss-making" business and South Africa was unlikely to resolve the situation.

The once-celebrated airline has not been able to generate a profit since 2011. It survives largely on state guarantees and is largely perceived by ratings agencies as a drain on state coffers.

"He has now gained some chicken audacity while in New York to articulate policy positions that are decidedly reactionary and even against the policy positions of his own political party," the EFF said in a statement on Friday.

The DA, which also noted Mboweni's views with "great interest", said in a statement that it reiterated its views on the state-owned airline.

"The DA has long expressed the view that SAA should not be kept alive through taxpayer bailouts and that if it is to survive it must do so on its own and be privatised," said MP Alf Lees.

Lees also called for a special appropriation bill, which would see SAA receive a R5bn lifeline, to be rejected.

"It's curious that Parliament should be considering the bill at all, considering Mboweni's reported views on SAA," said Lees.

EFF spokesperson and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party believed the airline could still be saved and made accessible to more South Africans.

Mboweni 'arrogant' on Reserve Bank matter

The EFF also hit out at the finance minister on views he expressed against calls for the South African Reserve Bank to be nationalised.

Mboweni said these calls were "uninformed".

"It is utter arrogance and rubbish for leaders, particularly ministers, to label those who hold different views to them as 'uninformed', more so when those doing so are blinded by right-wing ideological misinformation," said Ndlozi.

Mboweni's views are also at odds with the ANC, which resolved that the Reserve Bank should be nationalised at its national elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017.

"In its current form, the South African Reserve Bank has private shareholders and majority are white people," remarked Ndlozi.

"It is clear from the articulations of Tito Mboweni that the intention is to keep South Africa's financial system and banks as a whole under the ownership and total control [of] white minorities," he added.

The EFF also urged other members of the National Assembly to support a private members' bill that would lead to the removal of private shareholders from the Reserve Bank.

"All leaders who still believe that white monopoly capitalist interests should be protected and [are] celebrated as heroes in South Africa are not part of an economically emancipated future," he concluded.

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