Magashule tones down his stance on Sarb nationalisation
The ANC secretary-general said this week the party could not afford to behave like an opposition party on the issue.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture Neil McCartney
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has toned down his hardline stance on the nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb), saying the ANC must act responsibly on the matter.
He told journalists this week that, while the ANC national executive committee (NEC) had agreed that the resolutions of the party’s 54th national conference must be implemented – including the one to nationalise Sarb – the party could not afford to behave like an opposition party on the issue.
He said the ANC needed to act responsibly.
The ANC, according to Magashule, reaffirmed the resolution to return the bank’s sovereignty to the people.
Magashule said the NEC had emphasised the independent mandate of Sarb as set out in the Constitution and that its mandate must be exercised in regular consultation with government.
Magashule, a leading member of the ANC camp pushing for so-called radical economic transformation within the ANC, has been seen as a thorn in the side of the Cyril Ramaphosa government.
Some analyst have said his negative statements will scare away investors.
He had previously said the NEC agreed Sarb’s mandate should be expanded. The ANC resolution should be implemented as it was and Magashule lambasted those who tried to muzzle him.
With his hardline views, he clashed publicly with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the ANC head of economic transformation subcommittee Enoch Godongwana.
Both Mboweni and Godongwana denied that the NEC had agreed Sarb’s mandate should be expanded and Godongwana insisted there would be no change in Sarb’s status quo.
The NEC decision to ask the Reserve Bank to exercise its mandate in consultation with the government was a victory for the Ramaphosa administration, which is wary of interfering.
Congress of the People (Cope) spokesperson Dennis Bloem said: “Cope believes that one of the pillars of a stable economy is the independence of the central bank … it must not be used as a political football.
“If anyone wants to invite economic stagnation, poverty and unemployment, then they must continue with their dangerous game.”