SA should protect the independence of the Reserve Bank and must evaluate what effect the recommendations of the Public Protector to alter its mandate will have on the institution, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says, according to a BusinessLIVE report. ‘I respect the right of the Public Protector to make whatever determination but I also support fully the independence of the South African Reserve Bank,’ Gigaba said a Bloomberg Television interview in London.

‘We must not take any measures that are going to undermine that independence and so whatever decision we arrive at must not undermine the independence of the South African Reserve Bank.’ Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s suggestions to alter the role of the central bank to focus less on inflation and more on societal needs has raised fears about eroding the independence of the institution, with the ANC and business groups accusing her of overstepping her powers.

The context and purpose of the proposed ‘amendment is not quite clear to me given the issues that were being investigated,’ Gigaba said, adding he needs to study the recommendations before deciding whether he will support the central bank’s fight against the move.

Full BusinessLIVE report