Statements made by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule in a post-lekgotla briefing on Tuesday have caused widespread discord within the ruling party and other government structures.
Magashule stated that the ruling party wanted the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to be expanded to focus on development and job creation.
This sparked debates on social media, led by former Reserve Bank governor turned Finance Minister Tito Mboweni who even had to resort to Facebook due to Twitter’s character limit in an effort to get his point across.
Government sets the mandate for the SARB. There is no quantitative easing thing here. The primary mandate of the SA Reserve Bank is to “protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced economic growth and development”.
— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) June 4, 2019
WHAT IS THIS OBSESSION WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK? 1) I am now reaching a point of total exasperation with…
Mboweni’s sentiments were echoed by the ANC’s economic transformation head, Enoch Godongwana, who said a National Executive Committee Lekgotla was not a decision-making body.
Speaking to radio host Stephen Grootes on SAFM on Wednesday, Godongwana said Magashule’s statement was inaccurate.
“We’ve been debating this issue about the mandate of the reserve bank for a while. From the National General Council in 2015 to Nasrec in 2017 and we closed that debate. So no other structure can take such a decision and overrule the decision of conference,” said Godongwana.
He also remarked that there was an obsession with the SARB within the ANC because this was not the first time a discussion on the body caused so much discord.
In a follow-up interview with the station’s Krivani Pillay, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe explained that the Lekgotla was merely a platform of conversations held by the ANC with its various stakeholders and that Tuesday’s media briefing was used to communicate the outcome of those conversations.
According to Mabe, the resolutions that were outlined should not be confused with policy objectives.
“There is nothing untoward said by the Lekgotla which will change the way the SARB operates as things stand now,” said Mabe.
The spokesperson acknowledged the different viewpoints that were being shared in the media by those within the party.
“What we need to be avoiding is to make sure that we [don’t] speak past each other,” he added.
Listen to the full interview below: