Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his supplementary Budget this week.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his supplementary Budget this week.

Time to address the hippo in the room crushing our economic revival

By Mazwi Xaba Time of article published Jun 27, 2020

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While Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was busy delivering his supplementary Budget during a special virtual-physical parliamentary sitting, a voice was heard and broadcast on national television saying in isiZulu: “I’m leaving now. Shall I switch off this thing?”

It wasn’t one of Mboweni’s Cabinet colleagues who’d found a quick solution, a way out of the economic mess we’re all in. Nor was it a case similar to Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, who said ndidikiwe (I’m fed up) in a Freudian slip during a similar virtual meeting.

It sounded like someone saying goodbye to one of the home-based budget sitting participants. But it must have got some of them thinking.

And after this week’s major damp squib of a Budget, when we’d been looking forward to a miracle cure for our national economic ailments, few can blame anyone for just upping and leaving.

But, fellow South Africans, don’t despair.

Maybe someone will soon take a deep breath and confront the elephant, or hippo, in the room.

They say he who fails to plan plans for failure.

But in our beautiful country our crises are so stark and straightforward there’s no need for detailed, intricate planning.

We already have the NDP (adopted in Parliament seven years ago), Mboweni’s economic revival plan and so on.

What South Africa needs now is a brave leader to just switch off the expensive life support system some of our gluttonous, hippo-like state-owned enterprises have been on for years. We need action.

The Independent on Saturday

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