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Sarb nationalisation rejected

Nov 28 2012 16:23 Sapa

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Johannesburg - A state-owned central bank will be a waste of "billions of rands", SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) governor Gill Marcus said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"What would you achieve as a state-owned bank that is different?" she asked.

The issue was raised at a National Union of Metalworkers of SA conference addressed by Marcus.

Earlier this year, Numsa reaffirmed its position that the Sarb should be nationalised.

The resolution stated: "The SA Reserve Bank is privately owned and influences the Monetary Policy Committee to adopt pro-business interest rates, culminating in the working class being reduced to the working poor and [being] unable to afford basic necessities."

Marcus told delegates the governor of the central bank was appointed by the president of the country.

Shareholders had no say in the policy and had limited rights. They elected less than half the people to the board, and got a nominal dividend fixed in law.

She said the Sarb was constitutionally-mandated to the entirety of South Africa, whether state-owned or not.

Marcus said she would not be party to nationalising the bank.

"They didn't tell you that the object of nationalisation is to enrich themselves. Your approach is putting the bank at risk."

Numsa is meeting to prepare its strategy for next year's collective bargaining, which was expected to be difficult, according to its first vice president Andrew Chirwa.

This was because workers were not prepared to accept settlements customarily based on economic indicators, and had said their real expenses were far higher, on already low salaries.
sarb  |  numsa  |  gill marcus


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