The first round of the battle between Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the ANC’s leftist allies goes to the minister as the ANC top brass have not rejected his economic recovery blueprint, but allowed him to continue with the government process on it.
Indications were that Mboweni might have his way at the end of the day as there was no better way to extricate the country from the economic quagmire.
Wits Business School’s professor of international business and strategy, Mills Soko, said there was no time to bicker as there was a need to rescue the country.
Even political analyst Ralph Mathekga said if the document was to succeed, the ANC-led tripartite alliance partners needed to coalesce around Mboweni’s plan.
“They need to protect the document if it is to be implemented. They must build coalescence around it.
“The National Treasury is the one that has to attend to the fiscal and debt issues.
“The Treasury is at the coalface of this, hence they have to advocate for this kind of recovery plan,” Mathekga said.
Instead of throwing the document out of the window, Luthuli House widened the scope of the debate around Mboweni’s economic recovery proposals beyond the party and its allies, an indication that not all in the party were opposed to the document, despite alleged lack of consultation by Mboweni.
It put the task of coordinating comments on the draft discussion document on the shoulders of the party’s economic transformation subcommittee head, Enoch Godongwana, who would be assisted by national executive committee members Andries Nel, who is also coordinator of the party’s national working committee.
In a statement, the ANC confirmed that both Mboweni and Godongwana were invited to participate in Monday’s discussion around the economic proposals document entitled: Transformation, Inclusive Growth, and Competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa.
The document, issued by the National Treasury, caused consternation with the ANC tripartite alliance – with the Congress of South African Trade Unions questioning its status and the manner that Mboweni introduced it to the public before it went to Cabinet.
The militant South Africa Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) vehemently rejected the minister’s proposals.
Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi describe Mboweni’s proposals as the “best possible example of a type of insanity”.