Kganyago: Trade-offs essential to avoid debt that will burden future generations

He said politicians need to realise there was no such thing as a free lunch.

FILE: South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said future generations of South Africa should not be saddled with massive debt run up by politicians looking for short-term gains.

He said politicians needed to realise there was no such thing as a free lunch.

Kganyago was speaking during a webinar hosted by the Centre for Development and Enterprise on Thursday.

He said trade-offs were necessary to avoid a debt hangover, which coming generations would have to pay for.

Kganyago said what society wanted today could not all be granted without making trade-offs so as not to cripple generations to come with debt.

“When we make choices as a society, we cannot allow the excesses and the desires of this generation to be at the expense of generations that come after us.

“So what has been happening is, the generation of today makes choices that all sound like it benefits us for now and leave the [future] generation behind us with a massive debt burden. We call that generational inequity.”

Kganyago said spending on consumption instead of infrastructure left nothing behind for those who inherited the debt.

“And so, our task as technocrats, as economists, is to help frame those trade-offs so that the political leadership of the country can make decisions and they’ve got to understand that there is no free lunch.”

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