On the wall of his study in a Pretoria suburb, former Reserve Bank governor Chris Stals has a photograph of the men and women of the debt standstill committee of 1985/1986. This was the committee tasked with rescheduling foreign debt repayments after SA went into default in 1985, as apartheid-era financial sanctions began to bite.

It's a reminder of a very different and difficult time in SA's past, and the Bank's. And as the Bank celebrates its centenary on Wednesday, it will be looking back at its history, which has been shaped by politics as much as it has by economics...

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