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.

Subscribe to the M&G

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.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

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

Related stories

Tito needs the IMF, South Africa doesn’t

The IMF loan is given with false motivation — to provide political cover for entrenched neoliberalism and deep cuts in the public service

South Africa gets $4.3bn IMF loan. In return, the country must reform

The loan, which is repayable over five years at an interest rate of 1.1%, comes with various self-imposed conditions such cutting the public wage bill and rationalising support to the state-owned entities

Treasury: IMF’s low interest Covid-19 loan will provide financial relief

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $4.3-billion – R71-billion – loan to South Africa to bolster the economic relief package

This time it’s different: African economies may not survive

Amid the headwinds created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time the Aloe ferox, which survives in dry, harsh conditions, is nurtured — but the options are limited

Black lives must matter in Africa too

Although Africans must continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement, there is also the need for them to raise their voices against injustices in other African countries

All agree: Use pension funds

The state wants to increase spending on infrastructure to drive economic recovery, and South Africans’ savings could help foot the bill
Advertising

Ingonyama Trust Board moves to retrench staff

More than 50 workers at the Ingonyama Trust Board have been issued section 189 notices

No proof of Covid-19 reinfection, yet

Some people report testing positive for Covid-19 after initially having the disease and then testing negative. Scientists are still trying to understand if this means that reinfection is possible
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday