Jonas: Monopoly in itself is problematic

2017-02-23 19:18 - Liesl Peyper
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas at Parliament during the mini budget. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

Cape Town – There has been too much focus on white monopoly capital. Monopoly in itself is problematic – whether it is in the private or public sector, said Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Thursday.

Jonas was interviewed by Daily Maverick journalist Ranjeni Munusamy a day after the 2017 Budget Speech, which contained repeated references to economic transformation and inclusive growth.

Munusamy said to Jonas that he and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan seemed to have a “good chemistry” between them. “You seem to be in sync with transformation and inclusive growth that was a central theme in yesterday’s budget.”

Jonas responded saying he and Gordhan were together in the struggle and that they’ve come a long way. He said certain agreements were reached when South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

“But inequality in South Africa put strain on those agreements,” Jonas said, “and to move forward we must address key problems we face as a society. The public and private sectors and labour movements must address this together and agree on the basic fundamentals and trade-offs.”

South Africa also needs to take a new look at its economic framework, Jonas said.

“The redistribution of assets are one of the drivers of a transition, but it can’t be the only instrument that one uses. The structure of the economy needs to change, there needs to be better education outcomes, better access to technology. So it’s not just about redistribution of assets, which on its own will have very little impact on the economy,” Jonas said.

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