Tito Mboweni’s opposite number has thrown down the gauntlet for the Finance Minister, challenging him to ‘dig his heels in’ with regards to developments concerning South African Airways (SAA).
Despite Mboweni’s previous protestations, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has confirmed that SAA will receive a further bailout, as part of the airline’s overhaul. This, according to DA shadow minister Geordin Hill-Lewis, makes Tito look like ‘a lame duck’, and he’s implored the ANC stalwart to fight back against his fellow party members:
“Mboweni should not accept defeat so meekly. The Democratic Alliance calls on him to fight back against this bailout decision and do what is right for the country, not what is right for his party. He should fight back. He should dig in his heels and refuse to fund this bailout. We need a Finance Minister who will stand firm against political pressure and hold the line.”
“If he does not, he will be a lame duck Finance Minister who is no longer in control of government spending. This battle is not just about SAA. It is about the principle that public money should not be poured endlessly into failing state-owned companies, when other truly essential public services on which the poor depend are so underfunded.”
“If he accepts defeat, then he will have to carefully consider his continued future in the government.”Geordin Hill-Lewis
In response to Hill-Lewis, Mboweni said that the criticism was ultimately ‘unhelpful’, claiming that ministers tend to lose a lot of battles in politics. It’s a pragmatic stance from the ANC veteran, but not one that’ll help him get his way…
@geordinhl: My dear friend. Dogma is unhelpful in politics. As a young politician,you should remember this. You will lose many battles along the way but don’t lose any wars! Be clear about Strategic and Tactical positions.Avoid being Absolutist in your reading of the environment.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) September 19, 2020