Reserve Bank turns 100, promises to protect SA economy under COVID

Deputy Governor Fundi Tshazibana said the bank had made provision for the COVID-19 pandemic to be around for a while and said there were measures in place.

The South African Reserve Bank. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - With the Reserve Bank celebrating 100 years on Wednesday, it’s given the assurance that it will continue to protect the country in an economy being devastated by COVID-19.

The bank opened its doors for business for the first time on the 30 June 1921 and is the oldest central bank in Africa.

Since then, it's been tasked with introducing the rand in 1961, protecting the currency and keeping inflation in check.

WATCH: The South African Reserve Bank turns 100

However, since march last year, the central bank has seen a whole new challenge.

“We were already in trouble, our economy was already in trouble before COVID. So COVID found it in a very delicate and fragile position,” said the deputy governor Fundi Tshazibana.

Tshazibana said the bank had made provision for the COVID-19 pandemic to be around for a while and she said there were measures in place.

“We will only start to remove those relaxations when economic conditions improve,” she said.

But she said the Reserve Bank would continue to keep a close eye on inflation and make sure that it stayed within the target range of between 3% and 6%

The Reserve Bank said COVID-19, crypto-currencies and rising inflation were just some of challenges facing it, as it celebrates its 100th birthday, making it the oldest central bank in Africa.

The bank has seen a changing landscape, politically and financially over the past century in an ever-changing country.

From pairing with the pound to the introduction of the rand in 1961, the central bank has been steadfast in its mission.

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