JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) heavyweights have been quick to reassure investors that the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) mandate will not expand following mixed messages sent regarding the party’s position.
On Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told journalists the national executive committee (NEC) had resolved to expand the mandate of the central bank to not only be set on price stability, but also include growth and employment.
Finance Minister Tito Mbwoweni turned to Facebook to set the record straight.
“What is this obsession with the South African Reserve Bank? I am now reaching a point of total exasperation with this continued attacks and obsession with the South African Reserve Bank. I have explained on many occasions the purposes and functions of the South African Serve Bank. What is the issue?”
The minister shared quotes from the Constitution to explain that Sarb’s mandate is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth. He said Sarb should act independently, and without fear, favour or prejudice.
Mboweni added: “Let us stop shouting at business and embrace them as partners in economic growth, investment and job creation. Let us embrace all farmers, black and white to grow agriculture.”
The ANC’s economic transformation head Enoch Godongwana, meanwhile, also weighed in, saying in a statement that no decision has been taken to change the central bank’s mandate.
Godongwana echoed Mboweni’s view that the Sarb must protect the currency in the interest of sustainable economic growth.