The ANC has instructed the government to begin the process of nationalising the South African Reserve Bank. The final decision on the matter was taken at the national elective conference of the governing party on Wednesday. This could lead to the government owning 100% of the bank’s shares, instead of the current arrangement whereby these are held by a number of private shareholders. The party wants the government to develop a proposal to ensure full public ownership in a way that "does not benefit private shareholder speculators". Delegates at the elective conference repeated a view held at the policy conference that it was an historic anomaly that there were private shareholders of the Reserve Bank.

Bank officials spoke out against the proposal when it was discussed at the ANC’s policy conference in June‚ saying its private shareholding structure had no bearing on its monetary policy stance or the regulatory role it played in the banking sector and the broader economy. The B...

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