New finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s key advisor over the weekend published an opinion piece advocating for the nationalisation of mines, insurance companies and the banks, leaving Treasury with a PR disaster on Tuesday.
Ok look, a bad PR day for some government departments wouldn’t normally cause too much of a ruckus, except if that department is responsible for steering Africa’s largest economy and charged with repairing what the state president actively and maliciously seeks to destroy.
Over the weekend our new finance minister’s — a man who doesn’t hold a single financial qualification and who barely managed to hold the department of home affairs together in his previous ministerial position — adviser published an opinion piece in which he calls for the nationalisation of the mining industry, banks and insurance sector.
In his article, Professor Chris Malikane argues for that age-old socialist pie in the sky — let’s face it, The Communist Manifesto for all its idealism is really nothing more than utter nonsense –, a nationalised economy that actually works.
So what’s the big deal, loads of folks want to nationalise things they don’t have the skill to either develop themselves of revolutionise? Well, this oke advises our minister of finance who was deployed by Jacob Zuma to the only government office not yet captured by camp Zuma.
So on Tuesday national Treasury had to start putting out fires in order to try and convince potential investors that our department of finance isn’t being run by complete morons.
“The Ministry of Finance would like to place on record that the opinion piece by advisor to the Minister of Finance Professor Chris Malikane was written in his personal capacity as an academic and activist,” National Treasury said in a statement.
Treasury made it very clear that the department of finance is guided by government policy and that said policy does not include nationalisation.
Meanwhile, the teacher who now heads up the country’s most important government department is preparing to head to the USA to try and convince rooms full of people who actually know what they’re talking about to invest in SA so as to avoid a complete economic meltdown.
“Minister Gigaba will this week hold meetings with foreign investors in Washington at the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings in this regard,” Treasury’s statement said.
Here’s something minister Gigaba, his advisor and the rest of camp Zuma might want to pay close attention to, courtesy of Margaret Thatcher and true to this day:
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”