Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday insisted that radical economic transformation was inevitable, but said this would not entail nationalisation of banks or mines.
Gigaba told Parliament’s standing committee on finance that whether one termed the change he referred to radical economic transformation or inclusive growth, it was needed to address the plight of the poor.
“The fact of the matter is that you want to address the plight of these people and the plight of the people doesn’t confine itself to unemployment, it includes their desire to have land assets, to have access to the finance sector, and so whatever decisions we take are in line with the National Development Plan,” he said.
“And so there is no other view, absolutely none, no view to take up arms, to nationalise the banks, to nationalise the Reserve Bank, to nationalise the mines… in terms of government, no such views exist, so I do not think anybody has to worry.”
Gigaba brushed aside concerns that his utterances, and those of his controversial advisor, Chris Malikane, meant a turning away from the firm commitment to financial consolidation of his predecessor, Pravin Gordhan, who was fired at the end of March in a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle.
He said he believed he had been entirely consistent since taking up the post, and added that ministers were free to ignore views expressed by their advisors if they did not agree with these.
“So the minister is not schizophrenic,” he said.