PARLIAMENT, March 12 – Deputy President David Mabuza on Tuesday criticised Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for expressing his own views on privatisation in public, notably on Twitter.
“Leave us alone, don’t bring us into your Twitter,” Mabuza chuckled after telling the National Assembly that he believed Mboweni was confusing public opinion.
“You desist from talking as a minister, as a deputy president. You don’t have that space of talking as an individual. Once you stand up, you might confuse the public,” he said in response to an opposition question about the finance minister’s views on privatising failing state entities.
“I will take him seriously when he is articulating [the] government position … but articulating his views, when he is on Twitter, I am not going to entertain a tweet by the minister.”
Mboweni in his February budget speech allocated a bailout of R6.2 billion to South African Airways but is on record as saying it were up to him, he would shut down the loss-making national carrier.
He has poured cold water on Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s plans to find a private equity partner for SAA, saying it was indebted and nobody would want to buy a part of it.
Mabuza said Mboweni’s views in this regard were his own, not official government policy.
“Whatever the minister said about privatisation is the opinion of the minister,” he said, and stressed that as a member of Cabinet “you work within a collective, you don’t just get up and say what you want to say”.
Mboweni is an active Twitter user. (ANA)