In a joint statement yesterday by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb), Lesetja Kganyago, once again tried to reassure investors that the bank’s independence was safe.
“The National Treasury has always respected the independence of the Sarb and communicates when necessary on fiscal and economic policy. The Ministry of Finance would under normal circumstances not comment on the monetary policy stance or interfere in monetary policy decision making or decisions of the Sarb. That is the role of the Sarb. The Sarb does not comment on fiscal policy and tax matters,” the statement said.
Last month the Sarb’s independence was again under the microscope, causing investor uncertainty, after the ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, announced that the party’s National Executive Committee lekgotla had agreed to go ahead with the expansion of the mandate of the Sarb to include growth and employment. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mboweni and Kganyago swiftly moved to support the Sarb’s mandate and independence. Yesterday’s statement once more reaffirmed this stance.