S. African president pledges to protect independence of central bank

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 19, 2017
Adjust font size:

CAPE TOWN, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday pledged to protect the indepenence of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), amid growing calls to nationalize the central bank.

South Africa will continue to support institutions that strengthen its democracy and its economy, as part of creating the right environment for economic growth and development, Zuma said in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province as he opened a One Stop Shop designed to improve the ease of doing business and lowering its cost.

"In this regard, we value the work that is done by the South African Reserve Bank and we will continue to protect its independence," Zuma said.

It was the first time for Zuma to publicly voice support for the embattled bank as more and more critics questioned the need to keep the bank's independence.

The SARB is currently embroiled in a heated debate over its role in the economic development as South Africa's economy has been performing poorly, particularly since the beginning of this year.

A proposal was raised at a policy conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg in July that the SARB be nationalized so as to ensure that the bank focus on growth and not just inflation and the currency.

The proposal came after Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane urged Parliament in June to amend the Constitution so as to change the mandate of the SARB, citing the bank's failure to help spur economic growth.

Her remarks rattled the nerves of investors, sending the rand plummeting by two percent at the time.

Zuma was also suspected of being behind the attack on the SARB, according to court papers filed in September in the Pretoria High Court.

The bank has been accused of being too beholden to the interests of finance capital while neglecting the broader economy.

The SARB has been privately owned since its establishment in 1921, with formulating and implementing monetary policy as one of its main functions.

Zuma stood up for the bank amid speculations that the ANC will continue to debate the fate of the SARB at its Elective Conference in December when a successor to Zuma will be chosen.

Zuma linked the SARB to the Chapter 9 Institutions established to promote clean governance.

"We value our Chapter 9 institutions and also those we established to promote clean governance such as the Public Service Commission and the Special Investigation Unit which help us to fight corruption and maladministration in the public sector," Zuma said.

Chapter 9 institutions refer to a group of organizations established in terms of Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution to guard democracy.

Zuma said all these institutions form part of the package of promoting economic growth in an environment in which there is sound economic and political management.

"We are doing this not only for investors but also for our people, because they deserve good governance and effective service delivery," the president said. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter