ANC warns Mboweni about SARB Twitter spat: Toe the party line

2020-01-15 17:07
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. (Getty Images)

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. (Getty Images)

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The ANC has admonished Minister of Finance and national executive committee (NEC) member Tito Mboweni for his utterances on Twitter on Tuesday evening when he, once again, expressed his frustrations relating to the role and independence of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB).

After much debate on social media, with ANC leaders wrestling each other over the tweet, the party finally spoke out, calling on Mboweni to refrain from making statements that contradict resolutions made at the party's Nasrec elective conference.

MORE: Tito slams plan to nationalise Reserve Bank, invites critics to 'burn him at the stake'

In a statement on Wednesday, the ANC said leaders of the party were expected to appreciate the need to articulate a consistent, coherent and unifying message on policy positions.

"Unfortunate public spats initiated without any form of provocation feed into the narrative of lack of policy certainty. The character of our organisation confers on the membership the authority to determine policy and to hold the leadership accountable. 

"Only the national conference has the right and power to review, ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent structures, committees or officials of the organisation. The constitution of the ANC enjoins only the president, as the political head, to make pronouncements for and on behalf of the NEC, outlining and explaining the policy or attitude of the ANC on any question," national spokesperson Pule Mabe said.

In the tweet, Mboweni said the party had adopted "a wrong resolution" on the SARB.

Last year the SARB's mandate was brought into sharp focus when ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told journalists its national executive had resolved that its mandate would be expended beyond price stability to include growth and job creation.

In his speech at the January 8 celebration over the weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the party's position on the role, mandate and independence of the SARB, saying that the government would undertake the process towards "full public ownership of the bank" in a manner and according to a time frame that was prudent and affordable and that did not benefit private shareholder speculators.

Creating confusion

Mabe added while all party members were entitled to take full part in policy discussions, the party's constitution stipulated that only the president, as the political head, could make pronouncements on behalf of the NEC, the party's highest decision-making body in between conferences. 

"Any public statement by a leader of the ANC questioning the wisdom of a national conference outside formal structures has the potential to create confusion within and outside the organisation.

"We therefore encourage leaders and members of the ANC to exercise their freedom of speech within the confines of the structures and discipline of the ANC," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  tito mboweni  |  sa economy  |  politics
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