Godongwana urged to be honest about economic problems in his maiden MTBPS

Alexander Forbes' chief economist, Isaah Mhlanga, wants Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to tell a story of South Africa's forecast growth that was actually believable.

New Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana at the swearing in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 6 August 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Ahead of this week's medium-term budget policy (MTBPS) address, economists believe that better than anticipated growth might not be enough to ease investor worries.

Alexander Forbes' chief economist, Isaah Mhlanga, has called on Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to be honest about the current global economic problems in his maiden statement.

He also wants the minister to tell a story of South Africa's forecast growth that was actually believable.

"Yes, the pandemic had a negative impact but it [the economy] was already weak, we were in a recession just before the pandemic, so any policy decisions that are made in the medium long-term will have to be underpinned by the realistic macro-economic focus which requires a good story that is believable."

Since 2018, government was meant to help stimulate sustainable growth through the so-called economic reconstruction and recovery plan.

But Mhlanga said that they were still waiting to see exactly how and whether this had been done.

"So far, we have not had any serious implementation of policy, which means private sector investors are still waiting on the sidelines for a demonstration of the seriousness of government to implement policy before they invest their billions in the local economy."