November 18, 2019

CARILEE OSBORNE, the Senior Researcher at the Institute for African Alternatives (IFFA) and Assistant Editor of its flagship journal, New Agenda, warns that austerity measures cannot deliver a country from an economic slump, especially in South Africa where there is severe unemployment, that results in poverty and inequality. The only way to effectively address inequality is through large-scale government interventions, preferably those that generate jobs.

The medium-term budget statement by Minister Tito Mboweni seems to have brought little clarity on what government is going to do to fix our economy. True, he rang the alarm bells about the national debt but his solutions in terms of spending cuts does not convince. Especially as he does so in the name of austerity; an approach that has been severely criticised internationally even by members of the IMF.

Dear Fellow South African,

In April last year, I announced our ambition to raise $100 billion – equivalent toR1.2 trillion – in new investment over five years. This was aimed at boosting the rate of investment in our economy, which had been declining over several years. Not surprisingly, there was a fair amount of scepticism about our ability to succeed in raising this amount of investment.

Now, with the success of the second South Africa Investment Conference, held in Johannesburg last week, those doubts are giving way to a sense of realism and optimism. The total value of investment commitments made this year has vastly exceeded our expectations.

The long-overdue vote on the outcome of the protracted disciplinary hearing of suspended Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, was in the end uneventful. However, what was unusual about this plenary session was the unanimous cross-party agreement in both Houses. All parties voted in favour of the motion that Mgidlana be summarily dismissed on the grounds of serious misconduct.

Mmusi Maimane's resignation highlights one of the core problems of democratic South Africa ‑ the assumption that the only way to do anything is the way white men did it in the past. STEVEN FRIEDMAN, from the University of Johannesburg, explains the “Imposter Syndrome”.

The politicians who run South Africa’s official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), have probably never heard of “imposter syndrome”. If they had, they might have a better grasp of the problems which confront their party – and its first black leader might not have been forced to resign.

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Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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