South Africa-Governance

South Africa: Gov’t will maintain apex bank’s independence - Ramaphosa

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the public that there would be no change in the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank, and that its independence would not be tinkered with, as feared in some quarters, especially the business sector.

Speaking at a business breakfast in Rosebank on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had not expressed any intention to change the mandate of the apex bank, but only expressed a wish that the bank should consider employment when making its monetary policy deliberations.

“There is no intention to tamper with the independence of the central bank. The wish that is expressed is that, as it goes ahead with its policy decision, it should also keep an eye on the issue of employment.

“The Reserve Bank will tell you that it is precisely what they focus on. There should not be anything that alarms anyone. It would be alarming if the governing party says we want to change the mandate of the reserve bank,” Ramaphosa continued.

He added: “The governing party is actually saying we have a burning platform on the issue of unemployment. But the independence, the standing and the role of the Reserve Bank will remain independent. There should be no debate about that.”

There had been uncertainty in the business community after the ANC presented its manifesto for the 2019 general elections in Durban last weekend.

In it, the ANC said: "The ANC believes that the South African Reserve Bank must pursue a flexible monetary policy regime, aligned with the objectives of the second phase of the transition.

“Without sacrificing price stability, monetary policy must take into account other objectives such as employment creation and economic growth."


NM/afm/APA

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