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SA needs clarity on Reserve Bank

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has for the past 18 months tried to patch up the fractured ANC, but the divisions won’t go away

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

THE public spat between top officials of the ANC over the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank has shaken the country, with questions being asked about who is actually in charge.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has for the past 18 months tried to patch up the fractured ANC, but the divisions won’t go away.

ANC head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana said he had been forced to come out in the open and correct wrong statements made by some leaders.

This was after party secretary-general Ace Magashule said the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC had agreed at its lekgotla at the weekend to expand the mandate of the Reserve Bank to include growth and employment.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who served two terms as governor of the bank, backed Godongwana, saying the mandate of the bank was protected by the constitution.

It has been a week of drama within the governing party and analysts have warned that the party can not afford to communicate different messages.

The markets and investor community want the governing party to send one message on the economy.

Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago has said the country cannot afford to have these issues raised in the public at the time the economy was on its knees.

It is not the first time that ANC leaders have publicly clashed on the mandate of the bank.

The issue has been in the news for some time and Magashule raised it again following the NEC lekgotla.

Strikingly, the party leaders were all in one meeting, but are coming up with different interpretations of the outcome of the same meeting.

It is time Ramaphosa rose up and clarified what the message of the NEC on this matter is.

The ANC top six, who meet on Monday, are said to have the matter on the agenda to avoid any further fallout and market confusion.

The stability of the currency is also an important factor as the rand declined after Magashule raised the issue.

The responsibility lies with the president to come out and tell the nation what is the correct interpretation and outcome of the meeting on the Reserve Bank.