The ownership, mandate and independence of the SA Reserve Bank are separate and unrelated issues. But the fact that these debates are happening at the same time does not necessarily mean people are conflating the issues, as governor Lesetja Kganyago said last week.

The governor should not patronise us. We know that changing the ownership of the Bank will have no impact on monetary policy, unless we also change its mandate. Over the past few weeks many people, none of them economists, have stopped me in shopping malls to ask: “We know that Ace is a problem, but what is wrong with saying that the Reserve Bank should also take into account economic growth and employment?”

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