President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUPPLIED
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ANC wants the SA Reserve Bank to be nationalised, but understands that this is not economically “prudent”, the party's leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, said on Thursday.   

Ramaphosa said in a statement following a meeting with the ANC officials that they viewed the recent public spats about the Bank's mandate as “not being helpful", and mitigating and undermining the confidence of citizens and investors. 

“It is our desire for the SA Reserve Bank to be publicly owned. However, we recognise that this will come at a cost, which given out current economic and fiscal situation, is simply not prudent,” Ramaphosa said.

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“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 programme of our manifesto, in order to achieve our desired national objectives.”

The president's comments come after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule announced earlier this week that the party decided that the Bank’s mandate be expanded beyond price stability and include growth and employment.

He also said the lekgotla had directed the government to consider establishing a task-team to explore quantitative easing measures to address intergovernmental debts to make funds available for developmental purposes.

However, a few hours after the announcement, the head of the ANC’s subcommittee on economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, contradicted Magashule's comments, saying that considering quantitative easing was not on the ANC’s agenda and that there was no decision by the party to expand the mandate of the Bank.

Since then there has been no formal communication from the ANC on what the party's actual stance was.

However, in his statement, Ramaphosa did not address whether Magashule or Godongwana was correct. He said the officials emphasised the policy position of the ANC on the independence and role of the Bank as set out in the constitution.

Ramaphosa said the serious state of affairs in the country reaffirmed the observations made by the ANC lekgotla — that it needed to seriously tackle the challenges facing SA with a sense of urgency and unity of purpose. 

quintalg@businesslive.co.za