The South African Reserve Bank: Institutional credibility, macroeconomic stability and withstanding political games

SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Jul 2019 by Iraj Abedian

Now that the 2019 general elections have come and gone, and having returned Mr. Ramaphosa as the president of the country, his greatest battle lays in resuscitating the South African economy.

This he will have to achieve while simultaneously fighting for control within his own political party, the African National Congress (ANC), whose infightings have predictably spilled into, inter alia, the country’s central bank. The recent spat over the mandate as well as the independence of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) that was initiated by his opponents within the ANC seemingly came to an end during his latest State of the Nation address (SONA). The June 20, 2019, SONA, which was President Ramaphosa’s first chance to give the country an indication of the direction his administration would be taking in governing the country following the general elections, also served as a platform for him to express his say on the Reserve Bank debate. He reaffirmed the constitutional mandate of the SARB, saying the Bank should “pursue (its mandate) independently, without fear, favour or prejudice”.

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