Mboweni on politics and policy-making: 'One cannot have everything at the same time'

26 January 2021 - 18:00
Finance minister Tito Mboweni says in politics 'you have to prioritise within your existing resources'. File photo.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni says in politics 'you have to prioritise within your existing resources'. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

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.

“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.

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:


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