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Government lacks unity: Mbeki

Former President Thabo Mbeki says the current government lacks unity, which is why there are often contradictory messages from ministers.

Mbeki said the country would not overcome its challenges without cohesion at the highest level.

The country is facing too many challenges for the government not to be able to work as a cohesive force,” said Mbeki, who was being interviewed by Power FM chairman Given Mkhari on Thursday night.

“That’s why you get ministers saying contradictory things. A minister of Home Affairs would say, ‘I’m imposing these visas’, and the tourism minister would say: ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ Both decisions should have come from the cabinet but certainly it didn’t. Because of the absence of the cohesion.”

South Africa is dealing with credit-rating downgrades and high unemployment. Last month Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said it seemed highly unlikely South Arica would meet Treasury’s own growth forecast of 1.3 percent for 2017.

Gigaba presented the 14-point-plan at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Thursday, which he hopes that will satisfy investors and the business community, while preventing further ratings.

However, Mbeki, who served as state president from 1999 to 2008, said investors didn’t have confidence in South Africa.

“Part of the problem has been that a lot of your owners of capital since 1994 have always thought that the transition was too good to be true, that it was inevitable that because South Africa is, after all, another African country, something is bound to break and [they] might have to run. You can’t pick up a factory and run with it, but you pick up a suitcase with money and take it to Dubai,” said Mbeki.

Mbeki commented on government’s 14-point plan announced by Gigaba.

“You had the minister of finance making a speech about what needs to be done with economic growth,” Mbeki said.

“It’s minister of finance to elaborate a plan to regenerate this economy.

“It’s nothing to do with the minister of finance, I would have expected the minister of economic affairs, trade and industry to say we must invest like this and of course the minister of finance didn’t deal with those questions because it’s not his job.”

The conversation covered a wide range of issues including corruption and state capture, the country’s economic woes, the land question, Mbeki’s controversial stance on HIV-Aids and his relationship with Zimbabwe.

Source: eNCA SouthAfrica
Full Story: eNCA | Government lacks unity: Mbeki

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