Publication Date: 20/06/2017

20 June 2017

Comments by the Public Protector relating to the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank are particularly alarming.

The role and independence of the SARB is critical in maintaining what little certainty remains in our already fragile economy. The banking sector has repeatedly emphasized this point; and once again objects in the strongest possible terms to any interference in the operations and function of the SARB.

In our view, the Public Protector has erred in making comments and recommendations about the Constitutional mandate of the Reserve Bank and its relationship with National Treasury. It is not the role of the Public Protector to pronounce on these matters. In her eagerness to demonstrate her independence and bare her teeth, she has gone too far.

We urge Parliament to confirm the independence of SARB and assure the public and investor community that this critical institution will not be compromised. The SARB sits at the apex of a banking system that is highly regarded globally and we must do everything in our power not to cast doubt on a system that has served our country very well during difficult times, including the global financial crisis.

Although important, monetary policy is not the only critical factor in promoting economic growth. Other critical factors for growth include investment friendly policies and their effective implementation. South Africa has a long way to go if we are to emerge from junk status.

It is also important for government, business and labor to work together to promote inclusive growth. We need to focus our attention on measures necessary to get the country out of junk status and the comments of the Public Protector are as regrettable as they are irresponsible as they distract our attention from this important task.