Tito Mboweni on SARB nationalisation: ‘We adopted a wrong resolution’

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has said that the African National Congress (ANC) adopted a “wrong resolution” to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Mboweni suggested that nothing would be gained by nationalising SARB.

He added that the ANC government’s main focus should instead be on “structural economic reforms.”

‘What do we want to achieve?’

Mboweni wrote, “As a longstanding member of the ANC and its leadership structures, I know and understand our resolutions. I don’t need lectures on that.

“But on the SARB, I am convinced that we adopted a wrong resolution. What do we want to achieve? Our strategic focus: Structural economic reforms.”

The Finance Minister added, “As of now, 90% of the SARB profits are handed over to the National Revenue Fund.

“So? What do we want to achieve? Tell the public. Let’s debate. Don’t say internal debates – this is a fundamental national debate.”

ANC conference resolution

Mboweni is also a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has previously reiterated its commitment to implement all conference resolutions.

Nationalisation of SARB as a resolution was adopted at the ANC’s 54th national conference in 2017.

The ANC introduced a motion in Parliament in 2018 to give effect to it, but it was withdrawn “for greater consultations.” It has not yet been re-introduced since then.

Some social users criticised Mboweni’s tweets, but he persisted, “Answer the question. What do you want to achieve by nationalising the SARB?

“Don’t tell me about internal debates, NEC, etc. What do you want to achieve? Let’s answer that fundamental question.”

The resolution is one of the contentious policies pushed forward by the “radical economic transformation” (RET) grouping within the ruling party.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also strongly supports it. It is likely to be a bone of contention at the ANC’s National General Council (NGC) scheduled for June this year.

In an interview with eNCA on Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa signalled that the NGC will be used to review performance and policies.

He said, “The NGC is about reviewal of our performance [and] what we have done in the interim since we were elected.

“We want to look at whether the policies that we adopted still have currency – do we need to tweak them, do we need to refashion them given the conditions that we are operating under right now?”

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