Sarb should be independent, Ramaphosa says

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is committed to the independence of the country’s central bank even as the government considers nationalising it.

The ANC last year adopted a motion calling for government ownership of the South African Reserve Bank, which is one of only a few central banks worldwide that is privately owned. In terms of the country’s constitution, the bank is independent from government, and private shareholders have no say over monetary policy.

“The Reserve Bank should be an independent entity,” Ramaphosa, who took over as President from Jacob Zuma in February, told reporters in Cape Town. “It should deal with monetary policy and government must focus on the fiscus. That is what I signed up for.”

Still, government was considering ways of implementing the ANC’s resolution to nationalise the central bank, he said.

“It is a resolution of the ruling party and so it has to be implemented,” Ramaphosa told reporters in Cape Town. “Watch this space.”