tito mboweni Mid Term Budget Speech

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Photo:GCIS

Tito Mboweni claps back at ANC after Reserve Bank knuckle rap

The finance minister has called on those with different opinions to engage in debate and not to resort to name-calling.

tito mboweni Mid Term Budget Speech

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Photo:GCIS

Taking to Twitter to indirectly challenge the statement issued by the ANC on his opposing views on the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Mboweni did not mince his words as he clapped back at those he said did not welcome a digression in political thinking. 

It appears Mboweni did not take kindly to being labelled ill-disciplined in the ANC’s public admonition of his comments on nationalising the Reserve Bank.

Twitter retaliation

He retaliated on his Twitter timeline, lamenting that  “positive debate, disagreements, sometimes conflict of ideas, frustrations with your colleagues/comrades,not anger at one another, creates the impetus for forward movement”.

“That is dialectics.Don’t criminalise those who disagree with your viewpoint. Don’t call them ill-disciplined,” he wrote. 

Name-calling an ‘old Stalinist way of politics’

He further lashed out, saying that those with no new ideas were the ones who resorted to name-calling.

“That is an old Stalinist way of politics. Change your mindset. Politically therapeutic! Move with the times.”

Mboweni has not shied away from making his personal views public even when his stance is different to that of the ANC.

His efforts however to encourage discussion and “new ways of thinking” as he brands it, have been met with harsh statements from the ANC which have previously not appreciated public dissension by its members who hold key posts in Cabinet. 

Tito on nationalisation of SA Reserve Bank

On the nationalisation of the SARB,  Mboweni said he was convinced that a wrong resolution was adopted. 

 “As a long-standing member of the ANC and its leadership structures, I know and understand our resolutions. I don’t need lectures on that. But on the SARB, I am convinced that we have adopted a wrong resolution. As of now, 90% of the SARB profits are handed over to the National Revenue Fund: So what do we want to achieve?”

ANC distances itself from Mboweni’s comments

In the statement released after Mboweni made his remarks about the SARB, the ANC distanced itself from his comments. 

The party rapped him over the knuckles, suggesting he was callous for somebody in his position, further advising him to exercise his freedom of speech within the confines of the organisation. 

“Our NEC [National Executive Committee] has already reaffirmed a resolution to return the sovereignty of SARB back to the people. We will continue to undertake the process towards full public ownership of the bank, in a manner which is prudent, affordable, and doesn’t benefit private shareholder speculators,” the ANC said in a statement. 

Mboweni has since alluded to his state of mind, tweeting shortly after that it was good to retire gracefully, instead of being unceremoniously ejected from one’s position. 

Mboweni is currently at the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland with a delegation that will represent the country and engage on South Africa’s plans to attract global investors and boost the economy.