President Jacob Zuma File picture: Nic Bothma/EPA

CAPE TOWN - The ANC has ordered government to undertake the process of nationalising the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb). 

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This comes after the final decision on the matter was taken at the national elective conference of the governing party on Wednesday. 

Government stands to own 100% of Sarbs shares, if nationalised. This will overrule the current arrangement whereby these shares are held by a number of private shareholders. 

The party also wants the government to develop a proposal. This proposal will ensure full public ownership that "does not benefit private shareholder speculators".

At the 54th ANC National Elective Conference that was held from December 16 to 21, delegates said that it was an historic anomaly that there were private shareholders of Sarb. 

Bank officials however challenged the proposal when it was discussed at the ANC’s policy conference in June. They said its private shareholding structure had no influence on its monetary policy stance. Bank officials added that it also had no bearing on the regulatory role it played in the banking sector and the broader economy. 

The Bank was earlier put under political pressure when Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane proposed that the Constitution be amended to change its mandate - which the Bank contested in court. 

Considering the role of state-owned enterprises, the ANC then decided that only skilled and qualified people should be appointed to lead them. The party added that SEO’s should be protected from improper influence. 

According to Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant, firm action was required to improve the governance and performance of parastatals. 

Party delegates agreed that Treasury had to develop a wealth tax that could be in the form of a land tax, in a bid to promote equity and raise the revenue in state coffers. 

Meanwhile, in September, Mkhwebane has been accused of colluding with the Presidency and the State Security to hurt the central bank and undercut its authority.

This comes after the Public Protector allegedly met with a number of parties to debate amending the Reserve Bank’s constitutional power and mandate. 

The Bankorp report, by Mkhwebane was released in June. This action to change the constitution was set aside by the High Court. 

Johannes de Jager, from the Reserve Bank said that the Public Protector revealed a number of records and documents in the run up to the Bankorp review application, all of which remained confidential and deemed private. 

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