'Insensitive' & 'tone-deaf': Tito Mboweni slammed for tweet about not asking government for food
Finance minister Tito Mboweni faced the Twitter firing squad on Friday for making what many saw as an “insensitive” and “tone-deaf” comment about not asking the government for food.
The finance minister shared a picture of his blossoming garden on Thursday. However, it was the caption that drew criticism.
Mboweni said he planted the food and didn't “ask the government”.
“These veggies grow very fast. These are two months old. We are harvesting and cooking them,” he said. “Food ... we planted them. Not asked the government.”
Mboweni's tweet comes when SA's ailing economy is in the spotlight due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the peak of the virus, the government distributed food parcels to communities that were hit hard by the pandemic.
Speaking during the announcement of the government's economic reconstruction and recovery plan on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the pandemic had far-reaching implications in every area of human development, from education to health, from food security to poverty alleviation, from the empowerment of women to social stability.
One critic said Mboweni's tweet was “insensitive to the majority of citizens living in poverty without basic amenities, hence their reliance on the government without any alternative”.
Here are some of the reactions to Mboweni's tweet:
And with land being such a sensitive and topical subject, how can a Minister with struggle credentials not be sensitive to that? I know so many urban farmersxwho have to resort to planting food in tyres to feed their families, without govt support.— #womyncan'tbreathe (@zangazulugirl) October 16, 2020