Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho

Journalist


Lesetja Kganyago shares his theory on Sarb detractors

The reserve bank governor sat down to discuss how he handles his personal finances and keeps being an investor and being a governor separate.


Dubbed the World’s Best Central Banker by a panel of his peers, governor of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) Lesetja Kganyago sat down with Bruce Whitfield to talk all things money.

Each week, 702 host Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about his or her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures) as part of his Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition feature.

The pair began by chronicling Kganyago’s life, starting with his origins in Alexandra.

They briefly touched on detractors of the Sarb and what Kganyago and his team have gone through having to explain themselves on multiple occasions.

“We came out of this stronger because we were pushed to explain our role in a democratic society… Many of us were taking this for granted,” said Kganyago.

He went on to attribute the criticism to a line of thinking that he called dangerous.

“The argument is driven by people with very nefarious intentions, which was basically part of a narrative of weakening institutions of our democracy and so they see this institution which not only pursues its mandate and pursues it rigorously but also in its mandate in the financial sector, would stop illegality.

“This kind of narrative that was coming was like ‘oh, this bank because it does that, it stops people who are looting money from doing it through the banking system, so what do you do with these things? Maybe if we dismantle this institution or if we take away from this institution the power to license institutions then we can do as we please and THAT is a very dangerous narrative!”

The conversation then moved to Kganyago’s management of his own money and the rules governing his personal investments.

“You’ve got to know what are the priorities that you have on any given day, any given week, any given month. You have got to have a budget and in your budget, you have got to fit within the salary you receive on a monthly basis,” said Kganyago.

“Are you good at that?” asked Whitfield.

“Yes, I am. You’ve got to budget for all those expenses, such as school fees, your bond…” continued Kganyago.

“You’ve got a bond? So when you push interest rates up you pay more on your bond?” asked Whitfield.

“I feel it too!” exclaimed Kganyago.

Kganyago explained how he also budgets for black tax.

With regards to his investments, the governor said he had an independent party managing his investments, namely what to buy and what to sell so as to separate his decisions as governor from his decisions as an investor.

When asked if he had any bad financial habits, Kganyago failed to list any.

Whitfield closed off the show by asking Kganyago for the best money decision he had ever made and he listed accelerating the repayment on his bond as the best.

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