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Kganyago wins banking award for firm stance on SARB's independence

Feb 01 2018 12:02
Lameez Omarjee

Cape Town - Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago has been honoured for his work once again, and has been named the Central Banking’s Governor of the Year for 2018.

The Central Banking Awards, launched in 2014, recognise outstanding performance by individuals and organisations within the central banking community, according to Central Banking’s website.

“Kganyago has defended and enhanced the SARB’s (South African Reserve Bank's) reputation as an independent and well-governed institution against all threats – despite a turbulent political and economic backdrop,” Central Banking said in its announcement.

“The honour of this award doesn’t belong to me, but to my colleagues at the South African Reserve Bank and my fellow South Africans who have entrusted the SARB with the primary task of defending them against inflation,” Kganyago said in a statement.

The governor said that the independence of the SARB will continue to be protected and that even South Africans deemed it proper that the SARB be free from interference or influence by politicians or business interests.

“It is against this background that we shall continue to protect the independence of the SARB and we shall do so by drawing strength from fellow South Africans whose long-term interest informs our actions,” he said.

He also tweeted that credible, independent institutions are important.

Central Banking said the SARB acts as a “a beacon of competence and independence” in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. Central Banking recognised Kganyago’s role in enhancing the SARB’s reputation by making informed policy decisions, improving operations and building capacity in addition to standing firm against “unwarranted political interference” while serving the people of South Africa.

Central Banking listed examples of how Kganyago stood firm in the face of political turmoil, including the Cabinet reshuffle in March 2017 when former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were replaced with Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi respectively.

Last year the Reserve Bank won a court bid against the Public Protector, who challenged the constitutional mandate of the bank to protect the currency.

President Jacob Zuma congratulated Kganyago on his award in a statement. “We congratulate governor Kganyago for this award. This international recognition is one of many acknowledgments affirming the good work done by the institution," said Zuma.

Kganyago was recently appointed chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). He will serve in this position for a three-year term. The IMFC consists of finance ministers and central bank governors. It is the primary advisory body of the IMF board of governors, and deliberates on principal policy issues facing the IMF.

Kganyago was also honoured at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies awards last year, where he received the Business Leader of the Year award. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was a recipient of the award in 2016.

Also in 2017, Kganyago received the GlobalCapital Central Bank Governor of the year for the sub-Saharan Africa region.

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lesetja kganyago  |  sa economy  |  rand  |  sarb
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