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Mboweni rubbishes Magashule's 'reckless statements' on Reserve Bank

Finance minister Tito Mboweni: 'I don't understand this obsession with the Reserve Bank.'
Finance minister Tito Mboweni: 'I don't understand this obsession with the Reserve Bank.'
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has again rubbished a statement by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule that the mandate of the Reserve Bank is to be "expanded", saying this was not under discussion.

Mboweni said it was "painful" to see people making "reckless statements".

"Nobody is talking about changing the mandate of the Reserve Bank. This is clearly stipulated in the constitution. I don't understand why the obsession about the central bank all the time," Mboweni said. "Why say things that destabilise the market?"

Mboweni was speaking at Constitutional Hill at the launch of new commemorative coins by the Bank to mark the country's 25th year of democracy.

He said he was being inundated by calls from international media.

"I am being asked what went wrong at the weekend, what were you people smoking?"

Mboweni said it had been a long journey to build and stabilise the economy.

"To see people undermining all of that through reckless statements is very painful. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy," he said.

Mboweni joins the ANC's head of economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, who said in a statement on Tuesday night that there was no decision by the ANC to expand the mandate of the central bank.

Godongwana said it was "inaccurate" that quantitative easing was on the ANC agenda.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Magashule announced ANC would instruct the government to consider forming a task team to explore "quantity (sic) easing measures to address intergovernmental debts to make funds available for developmental purposes".

"The ANC NEC lekgotla agreed to expand the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank beyond price stability to include growth and employment," Magashule said. 

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, speaking at the ANC's headquarters on June 4 2019, shared six ways in which the ruling party plans to tackle unemployment in SA. The ANC-led government plans to take the country's unemployment rate down from 27% to 14% in the next five years.

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