Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday said people shouldn’t be the concerned by controversial comments made by his economic adviser in an opinion editorial at the weekend arguing for the nationalisation of the country’s banks and mines.
Addressing the media in Pretoria before he leaves for the United States to attend a meeting of the International Monetary fund and World Bank this week, Gigaba said he spoke to Professor Chris Malikane about his comments published in the Sunday Times.
“Don’t be agitated by Professor Malikane. Of course, I have advised him to keep quiet and allow me to do my work. I cannot be the spokesperson to my adviser,” he said.
Gigaba said Malikane’s job was to provide him with technical advice, saying he as the minister ultimately called the shots as the head of Treasury.
Malikane, who’s an economics professor from the University of the Witwatersrand, called for the “expropriation of white monopoly capitalist establishments such as banks, insurance companies, mines and other monopoly industries to industrialise the economy”.
On Tuesday he told EWN he wouldn’t withdraw his comments on nationalisation after Gigaba issued a statement distancing himself from his views.
Malikane said he had merely been trying to ensure black ownership of national assets, saying his views had been well known by the finance minister before he appointed him as his adviser.
“I won’t change my views when I interact with the minister. He takes some of the advice and rejects some … we’ll engage with the minister and find a way moving forward,” he said.