Cosatu wants Kganyago to change policy

By Drum Digital
07 October 2014

Newly appointed SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago must change policy, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Tuesday.

"He must radically change the disastrous policies of his predecessors which, together with those of the Treasury, have been one of the main reasons for our painfully slow rate of economic growth, the loss of thousands of jobs and the failure to implement government and ANC policies to radically restructure our economy," spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

He said Kganyago must change the policy of seeing inflation as a threat and using it to justify high interest rates.

Rising inflation was a potential danger, but was less dangerous than unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

Craven said Kganyago had to insist that the SARB be nationalised, should not be guided by ratings agencies, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund.

"The new governor's motto should be 'no more business as usual'," Craven said.

President Jacob Zuma announced Kganyago's appointment at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday. Current governor Gill Marcus steps down on November 8.

Cosatu and its affiliate, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), congratulated Kganyago on his appointment.

Popcru said it had faith that Kganyago's vast experience in the public service would benefit the SARB and the economy.

"Kganyago has shown exceptional leadership skills and broad knowledge of the country's financial landscape during his time as deputy governor," spokeswoman Theto Mahlakoana said in a statement.

"Popcru anticipates that the new governor will align the strategic objectives of his office with that of the current administration and thus create a conducive environment that will not only permit South Africans to contribute and own a share in their country's economy, but also make the nation the number one destination for investors."

The Black Management Forum congratulated Kganyago.

"The appointment of Lesetja Kganyago comes at an opportune time when indicators show the inflation rates are to be above the bank's three percent to six percent target," the BMF said in a statement.

"Given Lesetja's grounding in Treasury till he joined the SARB and also his attuned leadership, he certainly has the prowess to deal with a sluggish economy that has only grown by 0.5 percent per capita."

The Economic Freedom Fighters, however, said Kganyago's appointment was an affirmation of "neo-liberalism" in the country.

"Kganyago has been part of the neo-liberal thinking that [has] constituted both the ANC government and the SARB for a while," it said in a statement.

"The idea of inflation targeting and reliance on foreign direct investment as central to macroeconomic planning have not provided anything for the poor."

It called him a "capable black person" who would do well as governor.

The EFF echoed Cosatu's call for the bank to be nationalised.

Source : Sapa

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