Early this year, Sarb warned that a change to the bank’s mandate would require a change to the constitution. File Photo: IOL
JOHANNESBURG – The ANC is set for a collision course with the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) after a post-national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla reiterated that the central bank’s mandate should be extended to include job creation and economic growth.

Party secretary-general Ace Magashule said the lekgotla tasked the party’s deployees to implement the resolutions of its 2017 national conference in full.

“It was agreed that all deployees will ensure that the resolutions of the 54th national conference will be fully implemented. In this regard, the ANC NEC lekgotla agreed to expand the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank beyond price stability to include growth and employment,” Magashule said.

“It also directed the ANC government to consider constituting a task team to explore quantity-easing measures to address intergovernmental debts, to make funds available for developmental purposes,” Magashule said. “These measures should consider inflationary impact on the currency and the poor, and all must be done to cushion them.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is considered a party deployee because of the country’s party-based electoral system.

Magashule also reiterated that the ANC was the “centre of power” and not its deployees.

Early this year, Sarb warned that a change to the bank’s mandate would require a change to the Constitution.

North-West University Business School economist Professor Raymond Parsons said: “It is essential that the constitutional mandate of the bank to provide price stability in the interests of balanced and sustainable growth be protected, even more so at a time when South Africa is anxious to boost investor confidence.”

The ANC statement came just hours after Absa board chairperson Wendy Lucas-Bull said discussions around the independence of the central bank and calls for its nationalisation had stoked policy uncertainty.

“Our view as Absa is that the independence and mandate of the Reserve Bank are entrenched in the South African Constitution, regardless of the shareholding of the bank,” Lucas-Bull said.

Magashule said the party’s industrial strategy would target among, other sectors, automobiles, clothing, textiles, and the leather and footwear industries.

He said it would also be extended to cover gas, chemicals and plastics; renewables; steel and metal fabrication; tourism; high-tech sectors; the creative industry; the oceans economy and agriculture and agro-processing.

Magashule said the ANC had set the government an ambitious target of slashing unemployment from 27.6percent to 14percent by the next national elections.