Will Establishment Media Destroy Tito Mboweni?

Given his latest views on RET, will Establishment Media Destroy Mboweni? Did He Even Mean It?

By Pinky Khoabane

FORMER Governor Tito Mboweni is now finance minister to replace the disgraced Nhlanhla Nene whose conduct some among the capitalists and their appendages in establishment media wanted to protect at all costs. Several questions arise given Mboweni’s recent tweets calling for radical economic transformation, a policy shift to have the state own 40% of mining houses and the establishment of a state bank. Where does this leave his relationship with establishment media which has been swift and brutal to those who challenge the interests of their masters? We’ve seen how the cabal closed ranks to publish lies about Professor Chris Malikane who was or is government’s advisor on radical economic transformation. The Press Ombudsman ruled that City Press had lied when it said Malikane called for arms during a discussion on radical economic transformation which was convened by Black First Land First (BLF), but it was too late. The media hounds had come and made a meal out of a false assertion. They went into the usual labelling and scare-mongering tactic to ensure the country thought Malikane would push us to war. The irony was that when opening the discussion, the professor said he was afraid of war, but as they say, why spoil a good lie with facts.

Mboweni had good relations with the media…well, until yesterday. We don’t know what will happen from today onwards. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s New Dawn for South Africa is also embraced by capitalists and the media albeit strained at times as pressure mounts within the ANC ranks to implement the ANC54th resolutions of radical economic transformation.

Establishment media have lost this round to protect Nene but the question is what will their stance be to Mboweni who has toed the line in as far as protecting the interests of multinationals. He wouldnt have been appointed to Goldman Sachs when he left South African Reserve Bank if he was one of those who had rocked the boat.

We look and wait. Will establishment media destroy him too if he lives to what his posts on speeding-up reforms or will he even implement transformation given his background? In one social media post Mboweni said he would not want a post of finance minister but he has now accepted it. 

One thing is for sure, establishment media and opposition parties are all over this Twitter and Facebook accounts to see what they can use against him.

Will Mboweni truly live up to the excitement of the naive to his appointment? My simple answer is that he wont. He was a member of the Transitional Executive Committee (TEC), one of the institutions that arose out of the negotiated settlement as an interim government comprised of members of the ANC and the Nationalist Party. The TEC had many sub councils one of which was the sub-council on finance. The terms of the $850 million IMF loan the ANC government took in 1993 included cuts in state spending, the privatisation of SOEs, large cuts in public sector wages, and commitment to abandoning nationalisation. The ANC took out this loan to service the apartheid debt which was used to buy arms in its battle against Black people and to prop-up a system that oppressed them. In 1951-67 for example, the World Bank lent the apartheid regime more than $200m, half of which went to support electricity generation when the sprawling townships were denied electricity. In effect, the ANC paid for apartheid loans which were meant to destroy the Black populace. The IMF and World continued to supply loans to apartheid South Africa despite calls for anti-apartheid financial sanctions.

Since the $850m loan there have been more millions poured into the country as loans from the World Bank and with it, the ditching of the more progressive aspects of the then Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The Bank has had many representatives advising post-apartheid SA on policy which has been more “market orientated” and anti-poor.

Who were among the members of the TEC sub-council on finance that agreed to this deal.

  • Former President Thabo Mbeki headed the council
  • Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel who was Chairman of World Bank and IMF at one stage and is now head of Rothschild Africa
  • Maria Ramos who was Director General of Treasury. She left for Transnet before ending at Barclays Africa as CEO
  • Pravin Gordhan who was co-chair of TEC from 1991 – 1994, Sars Commissioner from 1999 – 2009, was appointed as finance minister in Zuma administration and returned for a second term after Nenegate. He was fired recently as part of Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle. It was Pravin who signed for the $850m IMF loan
  • Tito Mboweni who became Minister of Labour and thereafter Governor of Reserve bank between 1999 – 2009, and is currently advisor of Goldman Sachs International

Mboweni has been assimilated into the structures of capitalism and the comforts that come with it. He often boasts on Twitter about his trips abroad, dinners and lectures. He knows the penalty of defying his masters and is not about to ruin his comfortable life now. Those who look to his work as minister of labour must come to grips with the fact that that was then – when ANC leaders still cared for the National Democratic Revolution and not from which oppressor they sat across at the boardroom table and what deals were cut.

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