Sihle Zikalala

Empangeni - THE debate within the African National Congress (ANC) over the expansion of the mandate of the country’s Reserve Bank has drawn in another player, Sihle Zikalala, the Premier of KZN, who is also the chairperson of the party in the province.

Zikalala said the ANC is very clear on the issue. The debate around the mandate of the bank was triggered by ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule last week when he said the party national executive committee, agreed after their lekgotla, that the mandate must be expanded to include growth and employment. He was quickly shot down by the party’s economic transformation head, Enoch Godongwana and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

On the other side, Magashule was supported by the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Both formations said the mandate of the bank should be expanded.

Entering the fray, Zikalala, while closing a two day lekgotla of the provincial executive committee in Mpangeni on Monday afternoon, said it was lamentable that the party’s leaders are squabbling over issues where the party has clear policies.  He said that makes the party to be seen by the public as a party that is at war with itself.

“The ANC has a resolution on the Central Bank of South Africa, the Reserve Bank of South Africa and the position of the ANC adopted at the (Nasrec) conference is that South Africa must own the Central Bank. That decision has been taken at the 54th national conference of the ANC, in doing that, the national leadership of the ANC must then assess the implications of taking over that and then process that in line with the resolutions,” Zikalala said.

Although Zikalala said the ANC has got a policy, nationalizing the bank would be detrimental; to the economy as trillions would have to be paid out to compensate private shareholders and South Africa would suffer economic harm and face international isolation.

“We must process it in a manner that does not undermine the resolution. All resolutions of the organization are also all dependent on the material condition of that time. You may take a resolution and embark on a revolutionary programme and find that the soil is not fertile for that,” Zikalala told the lekgotla.

Politics Bureau