The African National Congress (ANC) said Thursday its policy on the role and independence of the South Africa’s Central Bank had not changed, following a public spat between senior officials in the party over the bank’s mandate.
Statement of Officials of the African National Congress regarding urgent Economic Priorities facing South Africa
ANC President, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa – 6 June 2019
The National Officials of the ANC held a meeting on 6 June 2019 at Luthuli House. Amongst other issues discussed was the recent 2019 QI GDP figures released by Statistics South Africa. These figures indicate a contraction in the GDP growth rate by 3.2% on the back of a poor average rate of growth of 0.8% in 2018 and an unemployment rate in QI 2019 rising to 27.6%.
This serious state of affairs reaffirms the observations of the ANC Lekgotla held from 1-3 June 2019, that we need to seriously tackle the challenges facing South Africa together and with a sense of urgency and unity of purpose. The NEC Lekgotla, which focused on apex priorities for the implementation of the ANC Manifesto, saw the growing of an inclusive economy and building state capacity as key.
The economic transformation pillar therefore includes such apex priorities as a re-imagined Industrial strategy to grow jobs and participation in key sectors; urgently addressing the integrated energy mix, energy security and particularly ESKOM; speeding up infrastructure development programmes, including water, ports, rail and rural roads (hence the President’s meeting yesterday with CEOs of the key State-owned enterprises); strengthening initiatives to decisively tackle youth unemployment; an inclusive financial sector, a stable and supportive macro-economic framework to grow and develop the economy.
The Officials emphasized the policy positions of the ANC on the independence and role of the South African Reserve Bank as set out in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The Constitution in Section sets the role of the Reserve Bank as protecting “the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth.” It further states that this mandate must be exercised in regular consultation with government, through the cabinet minister responsible for national financial matters. This policy has not changed.
It is our desire for the South African Reserve bank to be publicly owned.
However, we recognize that this will come at a cost, which given our current economic and fiscal situation, is simply not prudent.
In the context of the above, the Officials viewed the recent public spats about the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank as not being helpful, and mitigating and undermining the confidence of citizens and of investors.
There is broad agreement that all viable, legal and other policy instruments at our disposal should be used to ensure that we get the economy growing again and create jobs, by implementing the apex programmes of our Manifesto, in order to achieve our desired national objectives.