President Cyril Ramaphosa at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Picture: GCIS/JAIRUS MMUTLE
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Picture: GCIS/JAIRUS MMUTLE

Team SA with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the helm has assured investors of the Reserve Bank’s mandate and independence.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said, “It’s important to separate issues of ownership and independence. Many central banks are owned by government and the state while only a few remain under private ownership.”

While reiterating his stance on the Bank’s independence, he said that the “governing party’s resolution on public ownership is a separate matter that is being processed”.

“We ascribe a great deal of importance to the standing and independence of the Reserve Bank and we stand by that,” he said, adding that monetary policy must be done in consultation with the finance minister, who has “never sought to interfere with the Reserve Bank’s independence”.

“The Reserve Bank has its mandate clearly defined in the constitution and its independence, as far as government is concerned, is sacrosanct and no one will interfere with that,” minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan said.

Gordhan said that during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, the Bank was told by the finance minister to be mindful of exogenous factors as well as prospects for growth and employment.

“There will be no interference in operational independence or any doubt about that,” he said. “The one question that arises is around the shareholding of the Reserve Bank … the object at some point, is that the Reserve Bank should be carefully managed in the public interest.” 

menons@businesslive.co.za