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New Reserve Bank governor appointed

Lesetja Kganyago will replace Gill Marcus as governor of the South African Reserve Bank.

President Jacob Zuma has announced the appointment of Lesetja Kganyago as Reserve Bank Governor. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma appointed Lesetja Kganyago on Monday as new central bank governor, replacing the respected Gill Marcus, whose five-year term ends on 8 November.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had predicted Kganyago, a deputy governor who has also served as Director General at the finance ministry, would get the post, ahead of fellow deputy governor Daniel Mminele.

The president has congratulated Kganyago, who he says brings with him a wealth of experience having worked in government from 2004 as director general of National Treasury.

"Ladies and gentlemen it is my pleasure today to announce my decision to appoint Mr Lesetja Kganyago as governor of the South African Reserve Bank with effect from 9 November."

Kganyago, who has been Marcus's right hand over the past few years, says he will remain in touch with Zuma as he assumes his new role.

He thanked Zuma for the trust that's been bestowed on him and assured him that he won't take it for granted.

"The primary object of the South African Reserve Bank is the protection of the value of the currency in the interest of balance and sustainable growth. Growth cannot be balanced if there are internal and external imbalances."

Kganyago has expertise in macroeconomic strategy, financial sector regulation and oversight, public sector financial management, organisational leadership and transformation.

He worked at the Reserve Bank as assistant manager for investment dealing in 1994, which gave him insight into what happens at the lower levels of the institution.

He also brings the experience of serving in government at a top management level, as a former Director-General of the National Treasury from 2004. He joined the Treasury in 1996.

During his tenure, Kganyago successfully steered several public finance and financial market reforms leading South Africa's technical team to various meetings of G20 Ministers and Governors of Finance and G20 Presidential Summits.

He played a lead role in the fundamental reform of the micro-structure of domestic bond markets, including reforms to the auction system and introduction of new financial instruments such as inflation-linked bonds, buy-backs, switches and STRIPS.

The Governor holds a Master of Science degree in Development Economics from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Economics from the University of South Africa.

Among various positions earlier in his career, Kganyago served as economics coordinator and accountant for the African National Congress and as accountant for the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

He is currently responsible for bank supervision, financial regulatory reform and financial surveillance.