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Independence of Sarb is sacrosanct, says Pravin Gordhan

Speaking in Davos on Wednesday afternoon, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the operational independence of the central bank is sacrosanct.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG/DAVOS - President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged on Wednesday that his government would not interfere with the independence of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb), despite a proposal by the ruling party to broaden its focus to boost employment and economic growth.

“We do not seek to interfere with its independence,” Ramaphosa told a news conference at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Speaking in Davos on Wednesday afternoon, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the operational independence of the central bank is sacrosanct.

He also emphasised that the Reserve Bank should be carefully managed in the public interest, given its shareholder base.

“The operational independence of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct, nobody will interfere with that. In respect of the mandate, the Constitution makes it clear that its [Reserve Bank] mandate is priced stability in the interest of balanced growth.”

The central bank’s mandate now focuses on price stability, but the African National Congress said in its 2019 election manifesto that monetary policy should also “take into account other objectives, such as employment creation and economic growth”.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa in Davos