17 July 2017

South Africa: Gigaba's Economic Action Plan a Major Letdown


Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's plan was an economic miss as far as declaring supportive, principled, pragmatic and progressive fiscal policies is concerned. Here are some misses. By FATIMA VAWDA.

Much was expected from Finance Minister Gigaba's first major policy announcement last week. It was a fitting platform on which he was expected not only to articulate a new vision for the country's beleaguered economy but, equally critical, for him to extricate himself from the negative baggage, in particular the nuances of political capture that stalked him from his previous Home Affairs ministry. As such it was a platform that should have served both economic and political ends. This is true considering that good economics is good politics. It is for those reasons that the occasion attracted an unusual degree of attention of many South Africans, rating agencies, economists, academics, civil society and analysts, among others.

Sadly however, the package of policy resolutions stated by the minister turned out to be a major letdown. On account of the fact that the thematic pledges didn't articulate a coherent agenda that responds to the economic reality and concerns of South Africa, the announcement turned out to be a proverbial damp squib. Overall, the...

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