Nehawu: Ramaphosa must stick to Nasrec resolution and nationalise Reserve Bank

President Cyril Ramaphosa (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa (GCIS)
Siyabulela Duda

President Cyril Ramaphosa must abide by the resolutions of the ANC Nasrec conference and nationalise the South African Reserve Bank, Mzwandile Makwayiba, president of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union, said on Wednesday. 

Makwayiba, who leads Cosatu's biggest affiliate, was speaking during his opening address at Nehawu's national policy conference in Johannesburg. He said there was nothing wrong with changing the mandate of the SARB to create jobs. 

"That is the decision of the ANC in Nasrec. Which leader has the right not to implement resolutions of the conference?"

Cosatu needed to be clear on its position instead of submitting to the will of its friends, he added.

"If the ANC resolution says we must nationalise the Reserve Bank, then let that be. Anybody that changes such resolutions must get through the relevant structures of the ANC to do so."

Ramaphosa has previously said that public ownership of the Reserve Bank would not influence its independence. The central bank's mandate, however, has been a point of contention in the leadership structures of the governing party, with its top brass publicly speaking divisively. 

Recent confusion occurred after the party's NEC Lekgotla, when ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, briefed the media, saying the party had resolved to expand the Reserve Bank's mandate beyond price stability to include growth and employment.

Magashule's assertions were quickly refuted by finance minister Tito Mboweni and the ANC's economic transformation head, Enoch Godongwana.

Godongwana denied that the ANC resolved to change the bank's mandate. 

Two days after Magashule's statement, Ramaphosa called a meeting with the ANC's top six following market panic. He released a statement affirming the Reserve Bank's mandate, citing the Constitution. 

Cosatu must be clear on SARB

Makwayiba said it was embarrassing that ANC leaders continued to speak in divisive voices. He said Nehawu's policy conference must find a way to call to order ANC leaders to say, "When you have gone to a meeting you must agree to what you have said in that meeting, and please don't go outside in public and have public spats with one another."

He lambasted Mboweni, Godongwana and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, calling them "enemies of the working class and bourgeoisie". 

"The Reserve Bank is not ours. It is for the elite. It has nothing to do with us. It must be nationalised...  The state must nationalise key economic areas in order to have the resources to deal with its people. I wish Cosatu can be clear on this issue. When the EFF says we must nationalise, we must not be found mumbling."

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