Nothing to see here, folks: Mboweni and Kganyago hold 'routine' meeting

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National Treasury respects the independence of the Reserve Bank, according to a joint statement issued by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, following a "routine" meeting between the two institutions on Thursday.

In their joint statement, Mboweni and Kganyago stressed that neither of the parties would interfere with each other's functions. They also emphasised that consultations between the minister and governor occur regularly.

"The National Treasury has always respected the independence of the SARB, and communicates when necessary on fiscal and economic policy," the statement read.

"The Ministry of Finance would under normal certain circumstances (sic) not comment on the monetary policy stance or interfere in monetary policy decision making or decisions of the SARB. That is the role of the SARB. The SARB does not comment on fiscal policy and tax matters," they added.

They also said that fiscal policy and monetary policy must be considered as operating in coordination with each other and not in "collusion"or in "isolation".

The statement comes following a report in Business Day quoting Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo's comments on interest rates – a monetary policy matter which falls within the Reserve Bank's mandate. In an interview with the publication, Masondo said that the ANC debate on the role of the Reserve Bank was misguided and the question should rather be about whether interest rates are at the right level.

Masondo on Thursday responded to questions about his comments about monetary policy to members of Parliament's standing committee on finance. He emphasised that Treasury was responsible for fiscal policy and not monetary policy, according to a Business Day report.


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