Malema – leave the South African Reserve Bank alone – RICHARD J GRANT
Recent calls to “nationalise” the South African Reserve Bank imply that the Bank is a private entity, thereby raising questions about the correspondence between legal definitions and the realities of control, policymaking, and administration. In fact, the Reserve Bank is a statutory creation of the South African Parliament, which also determines the main policy goals that the Bank is tasked to fulfil. Further, more than half of the Bank’s board of directors, including all the executive directors, is appointed by the President of the Republic in consultation with the Minister of Finance and a governmentally appointed Panel. That Panel, in turn, approves a list of candidates from which eligible private shareholders may elect the remaining board members.
The private shareholders have no direct control over any aspect of monetary policy or Reserve Bank operations. Their only role is in the election of a minority of board members from a pre-approved list. This involvement is valuable to the extent that it requires greater openness and provides transparency to the operations and auditing of the Bank. Successive amendments to the South African Reserve Bank Act have weakened this role and, with the proposed transfer of all shareholdings to the government, it would be lost completely.
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Publish date: 04 July 2018
The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation. This article may be republished without prior consent but with acknowledgement to the author.