JOHANNESBURG, Aug 7 (Reuters) – South Africa Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Wednesday he fight to protect the central bank’s independence if it is jeopardised by plans to bring it into public ownership.
Kganyago has been vocal in expressing concerns over plans by the ruling African National Congress to nationalise the SARB, and some factions have also said that the SARB should have an expanded mandate with a more specific focus on jobs.
The central bank governor said that he would not engage in internal ANC party squabbles, but he would strongly defend the central bank’s independence if it was threatened by any government proposals
“If it ends up happening and nationalisation takes place, what would we go to war about? When our independence is threatened, that’s when you will see us taking the fight,” Kganyago said at a briefing.
Unlike most central banks in the world, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is privately owned.
But ANC members have said the people should have sovereignty over the bank, and at a party conference in 2017 the ANC resolved to move it into full state ownership, saying that its current status is an historical anomaly.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alison Williams)