Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday pleaded with detractors to stop attacking the independence of the SA Reserve Bank. Photographer:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

PARLIAMENT - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday pleaded with detractors to stop attacking the independence of the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb).

During his maiden medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in Parliament on Wednesday, Mboweni reiterated section 224 (2) of the South African Constitution which guaranteed the independence of the central bank, and also the importance of the institution in managing inflation to bolster government's growth plans.

"I am confident that Governor [Lesetja] Kganyago and his team will continue to work tireless keep inflation down," the minister said.

"And please, let us not distract him [Kganyago] with these regular attacks on the mandate and independence of the South African Reserve Bank."

Mboweni was South Africa's first black reserve bank governor. He served in the post for more than a decade between August 1999 and November 2009.

His comments on the central bank come after the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, introduced a Bill in Parliament in August to nationalise the Sarb.

The bill would "make the state the sole holder of the shares in the bank" and "provide for the appointment of certain board directors by the (finance) minister".

African News Agency (ANA)