/ 7 March 2019

Ramaphosa to MPs: We will nationalise the Reserve Bank

Ramaphosa was speaking during his final question and answer session for the fifth Parliamentary term before elections.
Ramaphosa was speaking during his final question and answer session for the fifth Parliamentary term before elections. (David Harrison/M&G)

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC’s Nasrec conference resolution to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) must be implemented.

He was speaking during his final question and answer session for the fifth Parliamentary term before elections.

Answering a question by Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane about policy certainty around the SARB, Ramaphosa said nationalising the reserve bank was not a “mad programme” thought up by the ANC but an international practice of countries wholly owning their central banks.

Ramaphosa said South Africa is only one of six countries in the world whose central bank is owned by among others external shareholders.

“It will confirm our sovereignty. The central bank is one of the most important institutions in the life of any country. And that is what the ANC has resolved must be done… That decision is there and has got to be implemented,” Ramaphosa said.

Asked by the leader of the opposition how much money his son, Andile earned from a Bosasa contract, the president said all information had already been handed over to the public protector.

“The public protector is busy with this matter. All information has been submitted by myself, a number of people, and my son. So the contract that he had for doing work for them outside the country is a matter that is with the public protector and it will be dealt with that way… There’s really nothing to hide. But the public protector is the one who knows,” Ramaphosa said.

Bosasa is the logistics company implicated in large-scale corruption and state capture.

Ramaphosa said he was satisfied by the work done by the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture that has shone a light on grand corruption in the state.

Before the question and answer session, Ramaphosa addressed the ANC caucus to say farewell before Parliament dissolves ahead of elections.

Speaking to the Mail and Guardian, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said the president gave ANC MPs their “marching orders”, as ANC candidates prepare to canvas voters in their constituencies.

Mthembu says the caucus is fully behind Ramaphosa to lead the ANC to the polls. This even though some in ANC benches have been quiet when the president has tackled touchy issues, like the restructuring of state-owned entities and shrinking the size of Cabinet and government departments.

“The president has to confront difficult issues of our country. He’s confronted with the issue of corruption. And he has the commissions into corruption, and state capture where even in the movement you have people say there’s no such thing as state capture. But we have a president who says, ‘No, we must get to the bottom of this,’” said the chief whip.

Mthembu said the opposition have often sought to highlight certain policy differences between Ramaphosa and some in the ANC by applauding the president.

“Not everybody may agree with him. But the majority of the ANC fully agrees with the President. Now the opposition, when they want to make a case they will all clap very loud, even drowning the majority party. As if they’re the people who are fighting corruption more than the ANC.

The ANC chief whip said Ramaphosa has earned the respect of most MPs in the House, including opposition benches.

“I think he has also earned the confidence of everyone in the house. Not only ANC benches. When he comes into that house he is a real Statesman, which forces everyone to relate to him as a statesman. Not as some Mampara,” Mthembu said.