- The ANC appears to be deeply split over the issue of nationalising the Reserve Bank
- Secretary-general Ace Magashule said the party would implement the policy within the next 5 years
- Cyril Ramaphosa, however, denied this and said the Bank would remain independent
Disagreements over nationalising the Reserve Bank have revealed divisions within the ANC.
Despite presenting a united front at their manifesto launch in Durban, the party has repeatedly contradicted itself with regard to the Reserve Bank.
Secretary-general Ace Magashule had declared in an interview that the ANC would nationalise the Reserve Bank within the next five years. Cyril Ramaphosa, however, has denied that the ANC will pursue that policy.
Speaking to business leaders ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the president insisted that the ruling party had no intention of interfering with the Reserve Bank's independence.
Currently, the Reserve Bank's impartiality is maintained through the control of private stakeholders who have no direct influence over monetary policy. This arrangement is meant to ensure transparency and reduce conflicts of interest.
If the Reserve Bank was to be nationalised as Magashule has said, control would shift from these stakeholders to the finance minister.
The issue has also split the ANC in other ways, with some members speaking out on both sides of the debate. The ANC Youth League has come out in support of nationalising the Reserve Bank,as has the ANC's chairperson in Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina.
Magashule denied that the ANC was divided on the issue and insisted that Ramaphosa was merely stating that the policy had to be implemented in a responsible way.
He also emphasised that the ANC would be cracking down harshly on ministers who failed to implement the party's Nasrec resolutions, which include nationalising the Reserve Bank.
"Things are going to happen. There will be consequences if people do not implement," Magashule said.
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