Johannesburg - Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has
called on South African politicians to be honest on matters of the economy,
capital and corruption.
Addressing business leaders and academics in Port Elizabeth,
Eastern Cape, this week during the launch of the Coega Development Corporation
(CDC) journal, Perspectives, Mboweni accused government of failing to run its
own entities, specifically Telkom [JSE:TKG], the SABC and SAA.
Responding to a question on the proposed setting up of a
state-owned steel company, he warned against nationalisation.
He said: “I do not believe in nationalisation. The ANC
government does not know how to run most things it owns. Look at what we are
doing with Telkom.
“We do not know how to run an airline (SAA), the SABC is
meant to just broadcast, just that, and we don’t know how to run it.”
Answering a question about the setting up of a Brics bank
and government’s request to have it headquartered in South Africa, Mboweni
said: “This discussion about the Brics bank being located here in South Africa
is very interesting.
“We love things to be located here, but these things are
very costly. I would rather take that money and build the Coega Petro SA oil
refinery here in Port Elizabeth.”
He also dismissed the notion that governments could create
jobs. “Be wary of any politician who comes to you now promising jobs. There are
Any politician who promises jobs now is lying.
“There has been a substantial change in the nature of the
South African economy that we must accept and deal with.”
Mboweni added: “Despite the significant developments we have
made, the problems have not gone away. In fact, they have gotten worse. In my view,
we have reached the point where we require the most focused national attention
to deal with the problems.
“We cannot be shy to approach other countries in the world
that are experiencing a labour shortage and see if they can take some of our
The former labour minister also lashed out at teacher union
Sadtu for interfering in education and causing chaos. He also hit out at
parents for not participating in the education of their children by not
attending school governing body (SGB) meetings.
Mboweni said it was surprising that black parents do not
attend SGB meetings in townships, but when they move to the suburbs, they do.
According to him, the education system is not producing the
number of skilled people needed to access sectors that hold the bigger slice of
“We need larger numbers of people with structured
post-matric qualifications to be able to enter these sectors,” he said, while
calling on government to “urgently” recommit itself to education.
“The education budget is enough for us to achieve our
objectives. The problem is the content and the attitudes.”
On corruption, Mboweni, who is the chairperson of AngloGold
Ashanti [JSE:ANG], and is also a member of the ANC’s national working
committee, said that policy and law makers must know that the Constitution is
the supreme law of the land, and that no politician was above this document.
He said: “People who draft laws sometimes forget that one
day they might have to stand in front of the court and be judged by the very
same laws they have made. Any benefit that is not due to you is corruption.”
He added that capital is not white monopoly capital any
more, saying the nature of South African capital has shifted to embrace global
and more diverse participation.
“Capital nowadays includes pension funds from government,
hedge funds and other investment capital from various groupings including
labour unions, making it difficult to pin the origin of capital as exclusively
white,” he said.
»Perspectives is a journal initiated four years ago by the
CDC in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. It seeks
to stimulate debate among professionals, specialists and young academics on
issues of industrial and economic development.