Treasury sticks with Malusi Gigaba’s plan

National Treasury had decided not to deviate from the 14-point plan to boost the economy that was announced by former finance minister Malusi Gigaba last year, Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele said this week.

During an International Finance Corporation breakfast event, Gungubele said: “We are taking those issues forward.”

He added that a number of issues regarding the ailing economy had already been resolved.

He also pointed out that, in his discussions during the recent international investor roadshow, concerns were raised about government’s controversial decision to expropriate land without compensation.

“There’s a view that this is a source of uncertainty. But we [government] have a contrary view that not addressing it is a worse source of uncertainty,” he said, adding that the issue had the potential to become a political tool with undesirable results.

Gungubele said land expropriation without compensation was not the only tool available to government, and it would not replace any other economic mechanism.

During the event, Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala said the decisions relating to nuclear power and free tertiary education were just some of the problematic blunders committed by the previous administration, and that the return of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister was a step in the right direction.

“The problematic choices by the previous administration have put us under quite difficult fiscal conditions, but we are now starting to recover,” he said.

Tshabalala, who was speaking in his capacity as a director of Business Unity SA, also said the land decision was sufficiently understood.

“In my view, there is much ill-informed heat and noise about this issue. I would urge all South Africans and all those with an interest in South Africa to make sure that we are all well informed and have a calm frame of mind when we talk about the land issue,” he said.

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