Mboweni surprises as he publishes a wide-ranging growth strategy

27 August 2019 - 18:20 By Carol Paton
Tito Mboweni has made far-reaching recommendations in a variety of areas that are the responsibility of his cabinet colleagues.
Tito Mboweni has made far-reaching recommendations in a variety of areas that are the responsibility of his cabinet colleagues.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday fired a shot across the bows of the government, publishing an economic strategy for the country on the Treasury website, BusinessLIVE reported.

The strategy document, which has been distributed to all cabinet ministers but is not a cabinet document, makes far-reaching recommendations on a variety of policy areas that are the responsibility of his cabinet colleagues but have an important bearing on the performance of the economy.

Mboweni published the document along with a call that members of the public make comments, which should be directed to the Treasury.

The Treasury said the paper was a detailed examination of the structural reforms that can reverse the downward trend in SA’s growth potential and competitiveness.

“Weak growth in the past six years is a function of both cyclical and structural factors, although structural factors have dominated, including sharply declining competitiveness…

"A series of cyclical shocks, such as political turmoil, drought and, most recently, load-shedding by Eskom, have further exacerbated the depth of the slowdown. Together, these have served to compound and prolong the effect of weaker confidence, leaving us with an economy that has almost 30% unemployment.”

The paper draws on the National Development Plan and makes proposals on:

  •  Modernising of network industries to promote competitiveness and inclusive growth.
  • Lowering barriers to entry and addressing distorted patterns of ownership through increased competition and small business growth.
  • Prioritising labour-intensive growth.
  • Implementing focused and flexible industrial and trade policies to promote competitiveness and facilitate long-term growth.
  • Creating export competitiveness and harnessing regional growth opportunities.
  • Quantifying the impact of proposed growth reforms.

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