Shares are now available for players who envisage shareholding in the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Governor Lesetja Kganyago announced on Thursday.
“Some 149 200 shares in the SARB have become available for sale. We would like to use this opportunity to diversify our shareholder base, and we encourage all eligible South Africans to take up this opportunity in the SARB,” Kganyago said as he addressed journalists during a media briefing inside the apex bank.
“Any person is eligible to buy shares in the SARB, except if they already hold, together with their associates, 10 000 of these shares.”
Kganyago, however, cautioned the prospective shareholders that the SARB operations were not focused at maximising profits.
“I must emphasise that the SARB does not have a profit maximising objective. Our operations are conducted in the broader interests of the country, in pursuit of the SARB’s mandate and responsibilities. The mandate and independence of the SARB are entrenched in sections 224 and 225 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” said Kganyago.
“In carrying out its mandate, the SARB does not bow to any pressure – be it political or from the private sector. The SARB accounts to the people of South Africa through Parliament. Shareholding in the SARB is based exclusively on the principles of shared community representation and participation in the governance of the SARB in order to enhance the independence, transparency and accountability of the SARB in the interests of all South Africans.”
The SARB has a total of two million ordinary shares, and its shareholders are paid a fixed annual dividend of 10 cents a share, as stipulated in the law.
Kganyago also emphasised that purchasing the SARB shares was by no means access to control the operations of the central bank of South Africa, or its policy direction.
“SARB shareholders have no say on any policy decisions that the executive management of the SARB takes in implementing the SARB’s constitutional mandate,” said Kganyago.
“However, the shareholders can elect a maximum of seven non-executive directors of the board of the SARB from a list of candidates approved by a panel chaired by the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. These votes are normally exercised at the annual ordinary general meeting of the SARB and each shareholder is limited to one vote for every 200 shares held.”
Kganyago said coincidentally, earlier this week the SARB put out calls for the nomination of candidates for election as non-executive directors to its board.
“I would, once again, like to encourage all members of the public to nominate candidates who have skills and experience in the mining, commerce or finance sectors. Nomination closes on March 17. Forms are available on the SARB website,” said Kganyago.
The current batch of 149 200 shares have become available following a North Gauteng High Court order, issued last year, which directed some SARB shareholders to sell the shares which they had accumulated, in excess of the statutory limit of 10,000 shares per person, together with their associates.