ANC Lekgotla reaffirms commitment to changing SARB mandate

African National Congress secretary general Ace Magashule told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday that the governing party’s National Executive Committee resolved at the latest Lekgotla that the South African Reserve Bank’s mandate should be expanded.

This NEC is the ANC’s highest decision-making body between national conferences. The Lekgotla of the past weekend’s resolution, regarding the Reserve Bank, is also in line with a similar resolution from the party’s 54th national conference in 2017.

This again muddies the waters on the Reserve Bank’s fate, even as Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago has been vocal about not tinkering with the mandate of the SARB and preserving its independence.

However, the Economic Freedom Fighters have pushed for a reform in this regard, and some heavyweights in the ANC, including deputy president David Mabuza, have been warming up to the idea.

Magashule told reporters during a briefing in Luthuli House that the NEC agreed to ensure that resolutions of the national conference would be implemented regarding the expansion of the SARB's the mandate "beyond price stability to include growth and employment".

"It also directed the ANC Government to consider constituting a task team to explore quantity easing measures to address intergovernmental debts to make funds available for developmental purposes. These measures should consider inflationary impact on the currency and the poor, and all must be done to cushion them," Magashule said.

Magashule said realising this reform would be consistent with practice by developed countries, acting to save their economies. He said it would go a long way in "dealing decisively with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality".

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