Sarb keeps repo rate steady at 8.25%

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) kept its repo rate at 8.25% in a widely expected move on Thursday, following the central bank’s first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2024.

Sarb governor Lesetja Kganyago confirmed the move just after 15h00, which means the prime lending rate of local commercial banks also remains unchanged at 11.75%. He said the decision by the five-member MPC was a unanimous one.

Kganyago also revealed the new member of the MPC – David Fowkes – who replaces Kuben Naidoo, who resigned from the Sarb last year.


He said Fowkes was appointed as of 11 January this year as ‘was a full participant’ in the latest MPC meeting.

The repo rate decision comes despite inflation cooling to 5.1% in December as the Sarb continued to follow a cautious note.

Inflation cools to 5.1% in December
Sarb Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo resigns

It is the fourth consecutive time that the central bank has decided to keep rates steady, following an aggressive hiking cycle of a cumulative 475 basis points since late 2021, to stave off spiking inflation.

Inflation outlook

“While our baseline inflation forecast is of continued gradual moderation in global and domestic inflation, the risks to the outlook are still assessed to the upside,” said Kganyago.

“Headline inflation was 6% in 2023. With few significant changes to the forecasts for underlying components, headline inflation for 2024 is expected to ease to 5%, to 4.6% in 2025, and to 4.5% in 2026.

“Fuel price inflation is expected to be low, averaging below 1% in 2024. Food price inflation is revised slightly higher for 2024, to 5.7%, but remains broadly unchanged over the forecast period,” he added.