Nationalisation of the Reserve Bank cannot be reckless — Mantashe

The ANC’s responsibility is to protect the coffers of the state, as some shareholders of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) are waiting in the wings “to cash out for maximum benefit” after the party resolved to nationalise the central bank, party chairman Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

Mantashe said the ANC-led government has a responsibility to protect state coffers as it implements its resolution on the nationalisation of the SARB and cannot act recklessly.

Mantashe chastised those expecting the resolution to be implemented “as soon as you walk out of conference”.

“We have five years,” he said, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) policy conference in Boksburg.

Mantashe is the latest ANC leader to defend President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stance on the nationalisation of the SARB, as the faction aligned to secretary general Ace Magashule has been using the resolution on the central bank as a proxy battle to weaken Ramaphosa, arguing that he has side-stepped ANC resolutions.

The fiscal situation at present was extremely difficult and the resolution did not say “nationalise without compensation,” Mantashe said.

Therefore the ANC had to act responsibly and protect state coffers as beneficiaries were waiting in the wings to “cash out”, he said.

“There are a combination of interests… these shareholders want to cash out and get maximum benefit. It is our responsibility to protect the coffers of the state,” he said.

Mantashe said there was no disagreement on the fact that the bank should be owned by the state, as is the case with 70% of the central banks in the world. But the ANC could not act recklessly just because “some people are shouting slogans”.

“You have to manage change, you cannot be a victim of change… resolutions are made to make the economy work… people read resolutions literally word for word and think we can be reckless. In real life it doesn’t work like that,” he said.

“We are all aware resolutions have to be done, but we have five years to do it.”

Nehawu leadership at the four-day policy conference has been critical of the lack of urgency by Ramaphosa’s administration to nationalise the SARB. The union is Cosatu’s second largest affiliate. The federation too criticised Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and ANC economic chief Enoch Godongwana when the pair contradicted Magashule’s stance on the bank in a bitter public spat following the ANC’s national executive committee lekgotla earlier this month. 

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday