Cooking the economy — a recipe for Tito Mboweni

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s culinary skills have been a hot topic on social media recently. The former governor of the Reserve Bank has shown South African Twitter users he’s as adept at cooking up a storm in his kitchen as he is balancing the books.

The Mail & Guardian has developed a recipe that Tito can use to feed 58-million dinner guests.

Step 1

A good economy, like a good curry, needs a solid and sober policy base.

So, chop up one onion, or party policy fight. Yes, there will be tears but it will all be worth it in the end.

Two cloves of garlic. Only two. We’re cooking a curry, not trying to scare International Monetary Fund bloodsuckers away.

And, as Mboweni noted in his Twitter post: “Mix and the slow cooking goes on. Cooking needs time. It’s like drawing up the national budget. Time and patience!!”

Now add three tablespoons of grated ginger. Lindiwe “Ginger” Zulu did all right at the small business development ministry, but sometimes you need a little more. She’s now off to spice things up at the social development ministry

Step 2

Now that our base has been formed, it’s time to add some of that international flavour. Some masala, turmeric, whole peppercorns and one star anise. Eastern influences have never been a bad thing for any pot economy. Mix in some local know-how and it’s starting to smell good.

The finance minister added shito, a spicy Ghanain condiment, to his stew.

Step 3

The sober base has been spiced up, so it’s time to welcome some foreign direct investment, the chicken.

But first, like any good economy, you’ve got to trim the fat. Take what you need and dispose of the rest. Your guests will thank you for it later.

Step 4

Add a pinch or two of salt. A little dash of regulation is important.

Step 5

Now that your economic policy, Eastern influences, foreign direct investment and some regulation are starting to co-operate and things are coming together, it’s time for transformation — a radical one. Turn up the heat. Brown the meat. It will soon be representative of what you want your curry — and your economy — to look like.

Step 6

But pots of curry, like the economy, can fast get a little heated. Don’t let this free-market bubble burst. You need some nonmarket measures. Try a little red tomato paste. A lekker socialism sousie goes a long away. I would suggest you use a real tomato but, alas, in South Africa we appear to have nothing left.

Things are looking good. Top Marx!

Step 7

All good curries and economies need something to keep it all together. I suggest a little labour law or two chopped potatoes. But take care, you need to create a good balance. Too hard and your curry and economy will be rejected. Too soft? Well, you can expect some rolling mash action.

Step 8

Things are coming along nicely. Don’t stir too much, or let others try to influence what goes in your pot.We are seeing some positive growth. It will be ready in the short to medium term.

Step 9

We’re almost done. But, as Tito said during his 2018 budget speech, maybe it’s time we capitalise on “that Green thing”. No, not that green thing. Freshly chopped coriander tops off this economic curry. Now it is ready to be served to the hungry masses.

Step 10

Don’t eat alone. The time has come to share the profits of your hard work and the good times of our democracy with friends, family, democrats, fighters and comrades.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

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Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit is a Reporter, Journalist, and Broadcaster.
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