ANC calls Mboweni to order following SARB nationalisation tweets
Only the national conference has the right and power to review, ratify or alter decisions, says the ruling party.
Tito Mboweni, South African Minister of Finance, delivers his 2019 Mid-Term Budget Statement in the South African Parliament in Cape Town, on October 30, 2019. Picture: AFP / RODGER BOSCH
The African National Congress (ANC) has called to order Finance Minister Tito Mboweni following a series of tweets on Tuesday in which he shared opposing views on the resolution taken by the ruling party to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
The party also warned any party leaders against questioning the “wisdom” of its national conference without following due process.
It said in a statement: “The African National Congress (ANC) is concerned about the public posture taken by Comrade Tito Mboweni in relation to resolutions and policy positions of the ANC, specifically on the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
“Any public statement by a Leader of the ANC questioning the wisdom of a national conference outside formal structures have the potential to create confusion within and outside the organisation.
“Unfortunate public spats initiated without any form of provocation feeds into the narrative of ‘lack of policy certainty’.
“The character of our organisation confers on the membership the authority to determine policy and to hold the leadership accountable. Only the national conference has the right and power to review, ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent structures, committees or officials of the organisation.”
In a series of tweets, Mboweni argued the ANC has adopted the “wrong resolution”.
He began by stating that while he understood the way ANC resolutions work, he questioned why this particular one was adopted.
“As a long-standing member of the ANC and its leadership structures, I know and understand our resolutions,” he said. “I don’t need lectures on that.
“But on the SARB, I am convinced that we adopted a wrong resolution. What do we want to achieve? Our Strategic focus: Structural Economic Reforms.”
In a second tweet, he again questioned what the ANC was trying to achieve, and preempted those within the ANC who might suggest this should be an “internal debate” by saying arguing that “this is a fundamental national debate”.
He also said: “As of now, 90% of the SARB profits are handed over to the National Revenue Fund”, questioning what would then be achieved through nationalisation.
In a third tweet, he said he was not afraid to be criticised by ANC members who may find his views on the SARB an unpopular opinion.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde, Background reporting, Daniel Friedman)