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'I wrote the resolution': ANC economic policy head denies call to change SARB mandate

Jun 07 2019 10:10
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

On Thursday afternoon President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC president, put out a statement to say the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank had not changed and public debate about the role of the central bank about was "not helpful". But on social media, the debate continued on Friday. 

The head of the ANC’s sub-committee on economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, first retweeted : "[...] why does it look to me that everyone that collapsed a province or some institution is pushing the reserve bank issue. That makes a nation scared as hell."

He then replied to former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko, who has his own controversial history at South Africa’s beleaguered power utility Eskom. Koko on Twitter claimed that Ramaphosa was contradicting the resolution the party took at its 2017 congress at Nasrec.  

Godongwana, for his part, was not having it, telling Koko that the ANC never resolved to change the SARB's mandate. 

"Fact. The statement was issued by the President on behalf of the Top 6. Magashule is part of the Top 6. I wrote the resolution. The resolution does not say we must change the mandate of the Reserve Bank," wrote Godongwana. 

This comes in the wake of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule telling reporters on Tuesday that the party’s National Executive Committee had resolved to expand the Reserve Bank’s mandate and investigate the possibility of quantitative easing at its weekend meeting. 

This was, in turn, denied by Finance Minister and fellow NEC member, Tito Mboweni, who said no decision was made to change its mandate. 

The uncertainty unsettled markets, with the rand falling below R15/$ for the first time in eight months. 

Tweet, counter tweet 

President Cyril Ramaphosa's Thursday statement said the Reserve Bank’s mandate would not change.

The Twitter account of Magashule then retweeted his original statement from Tuesday, stating the "ANC NEC Lekgotla agreed to expand the mandate of the SARB". 

The secretary general, from the same account, later tweeted that "there is a fake tweet doing the rounds alleged to be from my account" which did little to quell confusion.  

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