ANC allies push for Reserve Bank control

ANC alliance partners have confirmed they are actively lobbying for a takeover of the SA Reserve Bank by the state.

ANC alliance partners have confirmed they are actively lobbying for a takeover of the SA Reserve Bank by the state.

The Young Communist League (YCL) says the government should consider "expropriation" if the central bank's shareholders are unwilling to sell their shares.

"The nationalisation of the SARB will lead to a reorientation of the monetary policy review committee in composition and approach, especially the nonsensical notion of the independence of the SARB," the YCL said in a statement.

"We see this call for discussion as re-enforcing our long-held view of the democratisation of the SARB, consistent with many developing and developed economies."

This week the bank defended its independence, saying it was not owned by anyone.

"The SARB is a creature of statute, with the status of an independent legal person, which may not be liquidated other than by an act of Parliament. Its independence is entrenched in the Constitution and it is not owned by anyone," the bank said in a statement.

Alliance leaders are expected to discuss details of the take over bid at a summit next month.

"If none of the shareholders agree to sell to the state their shares, we call on regulated 'expropriation'," said the league.

Cosatu's Patrick Craven said: "It is a dangerous anomaly that a body that should be protecting the public interest when it makes decisions on interest rates, which have a major impact on all South Africans, should be owned by a group of anonymous private shareholders."

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