Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants ANC leaders to “sing from the same hymn book” on the economy, but says the party is a “broad church” so achieving this will be a process.

He was responding to questions about the disparate commentary from the ANC on crucial aspects of the economy, which at times dents investor confidence and contributes to policy uncertainty.

“It is a broad church so these things happen.… We want to minimise this as much as we can and get everyone singing from the same hymn book,” Ramaphosa said, addressing the South African National Editors Forum in Cape Town on Thursday.

“In the end I guess we have to deal with them and put the record straight.”

Ramaphosa maintained that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) must remain independent, after the ANC resolved that it should be owned by the state.

The ANC resolved that the central bank should be nationalised at its Nasrec conference and party policy gurus argue that this would not impact on its approach to monetary policy as private shareholders have no say over policy.

The ANC last year adopted a motion calling for government ownership of the South African Reserve Bank, which is one of only a few central banks worldwide that is privately owned. In terms of the country’s Constitution, the Bank is independent from government.

Ramaphosa said he was party to crafting the clause in the Constitution relating to the Bank and it remained an “unassailable part of the Constitution”.

He maintains that the central bank should remain independent and in charge of managing monetary policy.

“Government should focus on the fiscal side and trust the SARB to manage the protection and efficacy of the currency,” Ramaphosa said.