South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago.

CAPE TOWN - The SARB has decided to keep the interest rate unchanged, according to Governor Lesetja Kganyago. 

The repo rate now stands at 6.75%. The prime lending rate, the figure charged by banks to customers, will remain at 10.25%. 

The consensus over the last week was that the South African Reserve Bank would cut of at least 25 basis points.

"The MPC has decided to keep the repurchase rate unchanged at 6.75% per annum. Three members preferred an unchanged stance and three members preferred a 25 basis point reduction," Kganyago said in a briefing in Pretoria. "Ultimately the committee decided to keep the rates unchanged. Given the heightened uncertainties in the economy, the MPC felt it would be appropriate to maintain the current monetary policy stance at this stage and reassess the data and the balance of risks at the next meeting."

The repurchase rate is the interest rate at which Sarb lends money to commercial banks.

The Rand welcomed the decision as it is now trading at R13.26 to the US dollar from the day's low of R13.40.

In July, SARB announced that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to reduce the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.75% per annum due to the improved inflation outlook and the deteriorated growth outlook.

The announcement came as a relief for consumers after the bank left the repo rate unchanged at seven percent per annum in May, the seventh time in a row since May 2016.