President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Cape Town. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night sent out an unequivocal message that the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will not change.

During his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said the SARB was there to protect the value of Rand "in the interest of balanced and sustainable and growth".

"Today we reaffirm this constitutional mandate, which the Reserve Bank must pursue independently, without fear, favour or prejudice," he said.

"Our Constitution also requires that there should be regular consultation between the Reserve Bank and the Minister of Finance to promote macroeconomic coordination, all in the interests of employment creation and economic growth."

The president's remarks come amid market jitters over an announcement by African National Congress secretary general Ace Magashule that the national executive committee of the party had agreed that the mandate of the SARB be expanded - an announcement later refuted and critisised by senior ANC leaders, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago. 

African News Agency/ANA