Lesetja Kganyago must nationalise Reserve Bank – Cosatu

2014-10-07 12:11

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Newly appointed South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago must change policy, the Congress of South African Trade Unions has said.

“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,” spokesperson Patrick Craven said.

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 South African Reserve Bank be nationalised and 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 yesterday. 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 South African Reserve Bank and the economy.

“Kganyago has shown exceptional leadership skills and broad knowledge of the country’s financial landscape during his time as deputy governor,” spokesperson Theto Mahlakoana said.

“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 comes at an opportune time when indicators show the inflation rates are to be above the bank’s 3% to 6% target,” the forum said.

“Given Lesetja’s grounding in the treasury till he joined the bank and also his attuned leadership, he certainly has the prowess to deal with a sluggish economy that has only grown by 0.5% per capita.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters echoed Cosatu’s call for the bank to be nationalised.

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