Parly begins to process EFF’s draft Bill on nationalisation of the Reserve Bank

The EFF Bill aims to do away with the Reserve Bank’s private shareholders and make it entirely state-owned. But the party wants the Bank’s 802 private shareholders to be expropriated without compensation.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema tabled the private member’s Bill two years ago. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Parliament has begun to process the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) draft amendment Bill which aims to nationalise the Reserve Bank.

EFF leader Julius Malema tabled the private member’s Bill two years ago.

His second in command, Floyd Shivambu, briefed Parliament’s finance committees on the Bill during a virtual meeting on Tuesday night.

Things did not run smoothly as Democratic Alliance (DA) members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) refused to be part of what they claimed was an unlawful process, as Parliamentary law advisers had said the Bill – as it stands – may not withstand a constitutional challenge.

The meeting also saw fiery clashes between Shivambu and Yunus Carrim, the African National Congress member of Parliament who chairs the NCOP’s select committee on finance.

The EFF Bill aims to do away with the Reserve Bank’s private shareholders and make it entirely state-owned. But the party wants the Bank’s 802 private shareholders to be expropriated without compensation, something parliamentary legal advisers say might be found to be unconstitutional should the Bill be challenged down the line.

Shivambu told the committee the shareholders, who include finance minister Tito Mboweni, DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill Lewis, major financial institutions and persons living in Germany, Switzerland, Australia and other countries, do not reflect South Africa’s population. Shivambu claims 90% of the world’s central banks are state-owned.

“There’s about 802 shareholders of the SA Reserve Bank and we are saying that, let us take from those 80-odd people the bank – and give it to 57 million South Africans.”

The ANC adopted a resolution to nationalise the Reserve Bank at its Nasrec conference in 2017, which puts in a delicate position regarding the EFF’s Bill. Shivambu accused Carrim of pursuing an agenda, which ANC MP fiercely denied.

While the Bill has not been certified as constitutional, parliamentary legal adviser Noluthando Mpikashe told the committees nothing prevents Parliament from processing it. The next step is for the Bill to be published for public comment.

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