ANC lambasts Mboweni on SARB nationalisation: ‘ANC leaders are not freelancers’

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

The African National Congress (ANC) has criticised Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s recent tweets about the proposed nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

At its 54th national conference held in Nasrec, Johannesburg in 2017, the ANC took a resolution to nationalise SARB.

However, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, Mboweni said the ruling party had adopted a “wrong” resolution, suggesting that the country would achieve nothing by implementing it.

‘ANC leaders are not freelancers’

He 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.”

In a statement issued by national spokesperson Pule Mabe on Wednesday, the ANC said its leaders, especially National Executive Committee (NEC) members such as Mboweni, are expected to “uphold and defend” its resolutions on public platforms.

It added, “Elected leaders of the ANC are therefore not freelancers and remain bound by the overall prescripts of our organisational values and discipline in pursuance of the National Democratic Revolution.”

‘Lack of policy certainty’

Mboweni’s tweets sparked angry reactions on Twitter from fellow ANC leaders such as Ekurhuleni regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina, who said ANC branches must “correct” Mboweni’s “arrogance.”

The ruling party lamented that such public spats contribute to perceptions of lack of policy certainty in the ANC-led government.

It said, “Any public statement by a leader of the ANC questioning the wisdom of a national conference outside formal structures [has] the potential to create confusion within and outside the organisation.

“We therefore encourage leaders and members of the ANC to exercise their freedom of speech within the confines of the structures and discipline of the ANC.”

The ANC reiterated the NEC’s commitment to implement resolutions of the 54th national conference, including public ownership of SARB.

It said during the January 8 rally, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the ANC’s commitment to “undertake the process towards full public ownership of the Bank in a manner and according to a timeframe that is prudent and affordable and that does not benefit private shareholder speculators.”

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