'Nationalising Reserve Bank not prudent, for now,' warns Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country cannot presently afford to buy out the private shareholders at Reserve Bank.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country cannot presently afford to buy out the private shareholders at Reserve Bank.
Image: Esa Alexander

APresident Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday broke his silence about the public spat over the role of the South African Reserve Bank, saying its mandate has not been expanded.

According to a statement issued by Ramaphosa in his capacity as ANC president, the ANC top six officials met on Thursday following contradicting public statements by some of its senior officials.

This comes after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule announced during a media briefing on Tuesday that the ANC NEC lekgotla had resolved to "expand the mandate" of the central bank.

Ramaphosa said the officials resolved at the Thursday meeting that the policy of the governing party on the central bank "has not changed".

Said Ramaphosa: "The officials emphasised the policy positions of the ANC on the independence and role of the SA Reserve Bank as set out in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

"The constitution ... sets the role of the Reserve Bank as protecting 'the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth.' It further states that this mandate must be exercised in regular consultation with government, through the cabinet minister responsible for national financial matters. This policy has not changed.

"It is our desire for the SA Reserve Bank to be publicly owned. However, we recognise that this will come at a cost which, given our current economic and fiscal situation, is simply not prudent."

To this end, Ramaphosa described the public spats that had ensued as "not being helpful" and "undermining the confidence of citizens and of investors".


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