Mboweni tweets that nationalising the Reserve Bank is the wrong move

Finance minister Tito Mboweni is not behind the ANC’s decision to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Mboweni said in a series of tweets on Tuesday evening (14 January), that he was unsure as to what the ruling party hoped to achieve by nationalising the central bank, and hinted that it may ultimately hamper structural economic reforms in the country.

He added that the public should have a greater say on the decision and invited followers on Twitter to voice their opinion on the issue.

South Africa’s ruling party has taken a decision to nationalise the Reserve Bank. The party said in a statement last week, that its national executive committee will continue with its plans for nationalisation in a responsible manner.

“In line with the resolutions of the 54th National Conference, we reaffirm the role, mandate and independence of the Reserve Bank, and will undertake the process towards full public ownership of the Bank in a manner and according to a time frame that is prudent and affordable and that does not benefit private shareholder speculators,” it said.

Parliament officially revived the bill which proposes the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank in 2019.

The bill – that spooked investors when first unveiled in 2018 – is likely to prove problematic for president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on an investment drive to boost the country’s ailing economy.

The president noted back in 2019, that South Africa is one of a handful of countries whose central bank is owned by private investors and the move to bring it under the control of its citizens will affirm the nation’s sovereignty.

“We have a situation where we have external shareholders who live in various countries in the world. SA is one of only six countries in the world that still has shareholding in their central banks,” he said.

Read: From saving SAA to land expropriation without compensation – here are the ANC’s plans for South Africa

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Mboweni tweets that nationalising the Reserve Bank is the wrong move