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Kganyago: Sarb will defend its independence

Mar 17 2016 17:10
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Although South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) Sarb governor Lesetja Kganyago initially only chuckled when asked whether he or any of the members of Sarb's monetary policy committee (MPC) had been offered jobs by non-government entities, he did return to the matter later.

After its latest meeting, the MPC announced on Thursday that the repo rate will increase by 25 basis points to 7%. During question time at a media briefing after the announcement, a journalist raised the matter of job offers with Kganyago, clearly alluding to the current debacle surrounding offers allegedly made by President Jacob Zuma's close friends the Gupta family.

Initially, Kganyago approached the matter in a much more general way, stating that head hunters also call Sarb from time to time. Then he decided not to skirt the issue any longer, and said that no member of the MPC had approached him about receiving any "interesting job offers".

"They are very committed to the MPC," emphasised Kganyago.

READ: Hike in interest rate

He added that when his term, that of his deputy or any of the other MPC members comes to an end, Zuma would apply his mind to the matter.

"The president will decide whether you should continue another term or if he should appoint someone else. That applies to my appointment too. That is the process we have in the bank," said Kganyago.

"The independence of Sarb is enshrined in SA's constitution. We have never felt that independence to be under threat. And if ever that is under threat, be assured the good men and women of Sarb will defend it."

When a reporter tested the waters with a question about the current so-called Sars wars between Treasury and the SA Revenue Service, Kganyago said that would best be answered by Sars and Treasury.

The Gupta family has never appointed any minister to the Cabinet, Zuma told Parliament on Thursday. On Wednesday, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas admitted he had been offered a job by the Guptas and had rejected it.

Zuma said the only job he had ever offered Jonas was that of deputy ministry and nothing else.

ALSO READ: MPC hikes repo rate amid 'tightening cycle'

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