Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has reiterated that the governing party will not change the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.

The party was embroiled in a raging debate in June about the role of Bank, which roiled markets and made the rand the worst-performing emerging-market currency at the time. 

This was after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule issued a statement saying the party wanted to expand the mandate of the Bank to include growth and employment, and to explore the use of quantitative easing to deal with government debt.

Three days later, President Cyril Ramaphosa had to walk back the statement, saying the ANC would not seek to nationalise the central bank or expand its mandate.

On Tuesday, following a four day national executive committee meeting, Magashule said the ANC had resolved at its Nasrec conference resolution to “return the sovereignty” of the bank to the people of SA, but that the meeting emphasised the policy positions of the party on the independence and mandate of the Bank, as set out in the constitution. 

Duarte said the ANC accepted and understood the mandate of the Bank.

“It is an independent institution, said so by our constitution …that doesn't change,” she said.

“It cannot change because of who the shareholder is, that's not the issue. The mandate of the Reserve Bank will continue to be a matter that will be, from time to time, consulted with by the government.”

Duarte said the Bank had already expanded its mandate way beyond interest rates and that it did look at unemployment and other factors. 

She said the ANC stood behind the independence of the Bank and stood behind the fact that its mandate derived from its communications and consultations with the government of the day. 

quintalg@businesslive.co.za