GEORGE NEWS - South Africa needs a Margaret Thatcher, Iron Lady-type leadership. This was the thought shared by PSG Wealth investment specialist Matthew Mackay after the national budget when he visited George last week.
Mackay's comment comes against the background of trade unions' resistance against Mboweni's plans to cut public sector wages.
Mackay addressed the George Business Chamber last Friday, 28 February, and gave an overview of the present economic situation and the national budget delivered by Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni on Wednesday 26 February. In his address Mackay said it will be "Mboweni against the trade unions" and we will have to wait and see how it plays out.
After the meeting, Mackay explained to George Herald what he meant with this remark.
"One of the critical things the country perhaps needs at the moment is a Margaret Thatcher, Iron Lady-style to combat the labour unions over the next three to five years. It would help to put South Africa in a much better fiscal position if costs can be managed," he said.
"Tito Mboweni has already taken the stance that he is trying to show strong leadership. It is going to be a battle of the wills between Tito and the labour unions." He said the wait to see how it turns out will be over the medium term.
He sees Mboweni as a very strong person, steadfast and consistent.
"I think he will stick to his word." MacKay thinks the plan might result in short-term pain regarding service delivery and could potentially elicit strikes, however, this could be short-term noise that can fix itself in the medium term.
He said the main message of the budget was positive growth. Mboweni didn't come with a populist mentality and didn't increase taxes, but indicated that he will look to a more sustainable way of going about corporate taxes.
That, in MacKay's opinion, is an incredibly positive message to South Africa: that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government are pro-business.
They are trying their best to help international and local businesses to make a better footprint in the country.
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