Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘There will be consequences’: Ntshavheni slams private sector for trying to collapse SA with rand manipulation

'People cannot be left untouched,' the Minister in the Presidency said.

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says South Africa’s economy remains strong despite attempts by the private sector to collapse it.

Ntshavheni briefed the media in Pretoria on Monday regarding the outcomes of last week’s Cabinet meeting.

‘Collapsing state’

Answering a question about UK-based multinational bank, Standard Chartered’s admission to manipulating the rand, the minister accused the private sector of trying to dismantle the state.

“It is a very sad state. We have maintained over the period that the performance of the rand and sometimes the performance of the economy has been manipulated by the private sector, who have no interest in the development of this country,” she said.

Ntshavheni said the private sector continued to “engineer and do machinations to ensure that the government collapses”. 

ALSO READ: Competition Commission says major banks colluded, refers them for prosecution

“That’s why they also self-feed into the narrative that there is a collapsing state [and] there’s a collapsing economy because that’s what they wish for, and their actions do that. But, despite those efforts, the South African economy continues to be resilient,” the minister continued.

She revealed that Standard Chartered has since agreed to testify against other implicated banks in the Competition Commission’s pursuit.

“At least we now have Standard Chartered to form part of the witnesses in the prosecution so that we can have recourse. People cannot be left untouched because they wanted to collapse this country. There must be consequences, and there will be consequences,” Ntshavheni added.

Watch the briefing below:

R42 million fine

Last week, the Competition Commission announced that Standard Chartered had agreed to pay a R42.7 million fine after conceding to manipulating the dollar-rand exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.

The British bank admitted to participating in the activities by fixing bids, bid-offer spreads, the spot exchange rate, and the exchange rate.

In addition, the bank participated in dividing markets by allocating customers where traders withhold or pull their existing bids or offers from the market to allow other traders to execute and complete their trade, thus, violating certain sections of the Competition Act.

READ MORE: US and its allies will continue to ‘punish’ SA through the rand

The currency manipulation, as stated by commissioner Doris Tshepe, severely impacted the exchange rate of the rand and caused ripple effects across multiple sectors of the South African economy.

Imports and exports, foreign direct investment, public and private debt, as well as company balance sheets were affected, in turn affecting prices of goods, services and financial assets.

Alongside Standard Chartered, 27 other local and international banks are being prosecuted for manipulating the exchange rate.

Additional reporting by Ina Opperman

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