POLITICS

Gwede Mantashe: Public Protector Has Overstepped The Mark

"The mistake we commit in South Africa ... is to play around with the institution that gives us credibility."

20/06/2017 15:09 SAST | Updated 20/06/2017 15:09 SAST
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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has overstepped her jurisdiction and powers following her recommendations on the South African Reserve Bank, according to Gwede Mantashe.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told Eyewitness News that Mkhwebane was overreaching her powers by pronouncing that she wanted the Constitution changed to reflect a new mandate for the reserve bank.

She is recommending the Constitution be changed from: "The primary object of the South African Reserve Bank is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic" to: "The primary object of the SARB is to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic, while ensuring that the socio-economic well-being of the citizens are protected."

On Monday, Advocate Busiswe Mkhwebane held a press briefing and said the SARB had failed in its duties to protect the public by not ensuring that Absa repaid an apartheid-era bailout given to failed bank Bankorp, which Absa was affiliated with.

She felt the SA did not serve the public by ensuring the economic well being of the people is served & hence the reserve bank policy should be changed.

Mantashe said the SARB was right to take the Public Protector's decision on review. He claimed the bank's credibility is still intact and should not be tampered with.

"The reserve bank is doing its work. The mistake we can commit in South Africa, which is popular, is to play around with the institution that gives us credibility and we lose that credibility immediately, we'll battle economically."

"On the powers of the reserve bank and the Constitution, I think that's Public Protector overreach. The reserve bank is right in reviewing it because that's the only way you can challenge this, you can review properly."