The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lambasted Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for his “reactionary and right-wing policy articulations” on South African Airways (SAA) and the Reserve Bank (Sarb).
This comes after Mboweni said at an investor conference in New York broadcast live on Thursday, that he believes that SAA should be closed down because it is making a loss.
The EFF said Mboweni had gained “chicken audacity” to articulate his “reactionary” positions which go against the ANC – Mboweni’s political party – when the minister had been “reluctant to articulate definitive policy positions” while in the country.
On SAA, the EFF said in a statement on Friday: “Whilst we appreciate the difficulties confronting the airline, we believe that there is a possibility to revive the airline, make it accessible to many South Africans.
“SAA and its subsidiaries such as Mango should be positioned to be the most affordable and dependable form of public transport for all South Africans.”
The red berets said Mboweni had been arrogant when describing those calling for the nationalisation of the Sarb as “uninformed”.
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“It is utter arrogance and rubbish for leaders, particularly ministers, to label those who hold different views to them as ‘uninformed’, more so when those doing so are blinded by right-wing ideological misinformation,” reads the EFF statement.
The party said Mboweni’s articulations on the Sarb are evidence that the minister intends to keep the country’s financial system and banking industry in the hands of “white minorities” because a majority of the Sarb’s shareholders “are white people”.
“The EFF has tabled a Private Member’s Bill under its commander-in-chief and president Julius Malema and believe that parliament should pass the Bill into an Act of parliament,” the red berets said.
The party said its call for nationalising the Sarb does not mean the Sarb’s autonomy as defined in the Constitution should be abolished.
The EFF called on the governing party to “manage” Mboweni’s “neo-liberal ego” “because it is becoming apparent that he believes he is a paragon of economic thoughts and policy who can defy” the resolutions of his own party.
The Bill tabled by Malema – the Private Member’s Bill – will remove private shareholders at the Sarb, the EFF said, which is a reason why the South African government should support it.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday also noted that Mboweni’s utterances on closing the national carrier were at odds with his party, the ANC.
The DA, however, said the airline should no longer receive government bailouts and should be privatised.