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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has advocated a role for the central bank that is closely aligned to the views of Chris Malikane, the controversial adviser to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who advocates the creation of a state bank with the unrestrained ability to create money. Malikane, a former Witwatersrand University professor well known for his radical views, said on Tuesday he could not comment due to his role as the minister’s adviser. In a report released on Monday, Mkhwebane also recommends that the Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate be changed from protecting the value of the rand to the protection of citizens’ socioeconomic wellbeing. The report suggests abandoning the Bank’s role as a lender of last resort as it "benefits only the financial sector … and does not improve the socioeconomic conditions of ordinary citizens". There would be no need for the central bank to play the role of last-resort lender if "the state took control of creating money and credit". Thi...

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