/ 25 January 2024

Kganyago plugs monetary policy committee holes with new member

David Fowkes
David Fowkes, who was appointed as an adviser to the governors last December, has worked for the Reserve Bank since 2013. (LinkedIn/ David Fowkes)

Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago has appointed David Fowkes to serve as a member of the monetary policy committee (MPC) following the resignation of Kuben Naidoo.

Fowkes was a part of the five-strong MPC which on Thursday unanimously opted to hold the repo rate at 8.25% — the highest level since 2009.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has yet to appoint someone to replace Naidoo, who resigned as a deputy governor in October and is serving his “gardening leave”, the six-month period during which he is prohibited from signing a contract with a new employer.

“We are told that the president is applying his mind,” Kganyago said on Thursday, “and once his mind has been applied, he will tell us who he is replacing DG Naidoo with.”

Once Ramaphosa appoints a new deputy governor, the MPC will have six members. But, Kganyago noted, an odd number of committee members is preferable. “We will continue to search for another person to take this to seven. But six is definitely better than five,” he said.

Fowkes was appointed as an adviser to the governors on 1 December 2023, after having  served in various Reserve Bank positions for a decade.

From 2013 to 2021, he worked in the bank’s economic research department where he edited its biannual monetary policy review.

According to a Reserve Bank statement, in addition to his role as an MPC member, Fowkes will offer analytical support to the governors on significant economic and financial developments and their implications for the bank’s policies.