Mboweni on politics and policy-making: 'One cannot have everything at the same time'
Finance minister Tito Mboweni has opened up about policy-making in politics, saying the two are “inextricably bound”.
The outspoken minister took to his preferred medium, Twitter, on Monday to share insights about politics and policy-making.
With a career spanning more than four decades in politics, Mboweni said there was no such thing as a data-driven, value-neutral policy.
“Over the many years I have been active in politics, I have learnt policy-making is inextricably bound with politics. There is nothing like a data-driven, value-neutral policy - [it] does not exist. But the rubber hits the tar when one has to make trade-offs,” said Mboweni.
Over the many years that I have been active in politics, I have learnt that policy making is inextricably bound with politics. There is nothing like a data driven value neutral policy. Does not exist. But the rubber hits the tar when one has to make trade offs.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) January 25, 2021
“The Duke of the Duchy of Magoebaskloof” said in politics one cannot have it all.
“In other words, one cannot have everything at the same time. You have to prioritise within your existing resources. You must balance your books. You must internalise your budget constraint,” said Mboweni.
In other words, one cannot have everything at the same time. You have to prioritise within your existing resources. You must balance your books. You must internalise your budget constraint. You cannot have EVERYTHING at the same time.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) January 25, 2021
THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK.
Last year Mboweni opened up about working with previous presidents and how his “disruptive nature” has landed him in hot water over the years.
“I have worked for and with a number of presidents. It is a great honour, but I am a difficult fella. They have all tolerated my disruptive nature - a privilege not to be taken for granted,” he said at the time.
On social media, Mboweni's policy-making comments drew mixed reactions. Many weighed in, saying Mboweni has not made “any policy that will empower Africans to improve their livelihood”.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
Too much politics in policymaking breeds extactly that.— Tshigevhedu@Lion of the North (@whymapungubwe) January 25, 2021
I have learned to accept that our policy makers love foreign concepts. If only we aligned our policy to our current environment and have a working relationship with our universities. We are busy using western economic concepts hance we don't develop and our economy is not growing— Moljoe wa MoAfrika (@papzen2016) January 25, 2021
We are in Africa and our conditions are unique. If our policy makers and politicians can focus on that we can go far as a continent. For one Africa needs labour intensive markets we are simply not ready for mass job losses and government should be the driving force.— Moljoe wa MoAfrika (@papzen2016) January 25, 2021
African was never ready for mass outsourcing of services in government. Our municipalities are full of consultants without any internal capacity. Our economy bleeds money as a result of consultants. Which breeds corruption. Change policy to benefit the masses not comrades.— Moljoe wa MoAfrika (@papzen2016) January 25, 2021
A data driven policy should be based on factual information. It is unfortunate that when politics are at play, the facts are distorted or possibly skewed to serve politics and not necessarily the cause. Finding a good balance to serve both, is the task of an honest politician.— Cosi.. 🇿🇦🌐 (@CosiRomanis) January 25, 2021
This is completely false and at the root of all the corruption. Policy should be made as to what is in the interests of the country, NOT the party. Patronising bigman politics is why no-one is ever held to account— Royden Hodgskin (@visedge) January 25, 2021
In my experience policies should set principles, when you need to make trade offs is when the people are not principled or when your policies lack decisiveness— Angus Norkie (@anorkie95) January 25, 2021
Minister, you obviously understand that a pie can only be cut into a set number of pieces. What govt does not understand is how to make that pie bigger. At the moment it is shrinking.— Keith Levenstein (@keithlevenstein) January 25, 2021
And those limited resources are made more limited through mismanagement if not out right theft through tolerance of corrupt interferance. Let's not fool ourselves, there is a lot of room and opportunity for improvement.— GB (@BeaumontB65) January 25, 2021