Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
29 Apr 2018
7:34 am

Tito Mboweni trends for expressing his ‘EFF ideas’

Citizen Reporter

After the former Reserve Bank governor called for more socialistic policies, one person told him: 'Welcome to the EFF Tito.'

A series of tweets from the first black Reserve Bank governor in democratic South Africa, Tito Mboweni, trended on Twitter on Saturday after Mboweni’s call for the greater socialisation of capital.

The ANC and others from the former liberation movement have long referred to the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) in South Africa when discussing steps to create greater equality and reverse centuries of oppression in the country.

For critics, not enough has been done.

Mboweni let rip on Twitter, however, asking: “What is so difficult?”

He typed up a short prayer asking for leaders to open their eyes and ears and “do four things”.

“The State must own 40% of mining companies, start a State Bank, implement appropriate Land Use Planning and Create a Sovereign Wealth Fund. That is Radical Economic Transformation!!”

Other African countries such as Botswana see the state having a direct stake in mining firms while Norway has the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund into which much of the profits from its oil industry are invested and diversified. Towards the end of last year, the value of that fund crossed the $1 trillion mark.

There have long been calls from others, such as the Economic Freedom Fighters, to create a state bank. The EFF wants to nationalise all mining, however, as well as all land, which is more extreme than Mboweni’s suggestion.

Mboweni explained that, to his mind, appropriate land use planning would involve demarcating land clearly for “housing, agriculture, grazing, forestry, tourism, leisure, schooling, hospitals, etc. Now, before people do their own will.” He added that the most urgent task in this respect would be to “allocate land immediately for residential purposes. Urgent. Really URGENT!!”

This policy also echoes the EFF call for all state land to be state-owned or controlled.

Many of the responses he received to his tweets have accused him of thinking like the EFF or even being part of them. Others have praised him for the exact same thing.

Since leaving the Reserve Bank Mboweni, a Tzaneen native, has been living a relatively quiet life as a farmer in Limpopo. He was a Brics Bank board member until last year, when his contract was not renewed. He also ruled himself out as a contender for a cabinet minister position under new president Cyril Ramaphosa.

He came to prominence again last year when the controversial CIEX Report, which dealt in part with the recovery of bailout funds paid to Bankorp during the apartheid-era, became the subject of a Public Protector report, which he angrily dismissed.

Rapper Cassper Nyovest also named a song after him.

His suggestions on Saturday were praised by some of his followers, while many others criticised him. One told him he didn’t “have a clue” because the government couldn’t run the existing parastatals under its control.

Take a look at some responses below:

One user jokingly told him: “Welcome to the EFF.”