JOHANNESBURG - Veterans of the military wing of South Africa's ruling ANC on Tuesday condemned the decision by the party's parliamentary caucus to delay debate on motion for full state ownership of the country's central bank.

Unlike most central banks globally, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has been privately owned since it was established, but runs independently from its shareholders.

At a conference in December, the African National Congress resolved to nationalise the bank, a move it said would bring its ownership in line with global trends, but which critics said would undermine its independence.

On Tuesday however the party delayed debate on the matter in parliament, saying it wanted to allow for more consultation.

"The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is utterly dismayed with the un-mandated decision of the ANC's parliamentary caucus to withdraw the motion on “full public ownership on the South African Reserve Bank," the movement said in a statement.

 "This withdrawal suggests that some of the leading figures in the ANC remain “captured" and abuse their positions of power to advance the interests of white monopoly capital."

The MKMVA, the ANC's youth wing, labour unions and other proponents of nationalisation like the Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party say the central bank has pursued pro-business policies like relatively high interest rates at the expense of ordinary South Africans and to fulfill the whims of businesses still largely controlled by whites more than two decades since the fall of apartheid.

The central bank, one of the most highly regarded in the world, insists it has only fulfilled its mandate of reining in inflation, while also keeping economic growth in focus.

The MKMVA urged the ANC to urgently fulfill its undertaking to re-table the motion in parliament.

- African News Agency (ANA)