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Gigaba: Foreign Investors Are 'Shaken' By Public Protector's Recommendations On Reserve Bank

"They are concerned whether SA will continue to support the independence of the SARB."

21/06/2017 15:08 SAST | Updated 21/06/2017 15:13 SAST
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Malusi Gigaba.

Foreign investors are "shaken" by the public protector's recent recommendations that the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) should be changed in the Constitution, said Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Speaking to Power FM's Andile Khumalo from London, which Gigaba was visiting in a bid to convince foreign investors that South Africa remains a good place to invest in despite the recession and political upheaval, he said he met with seven investment groups.

The finance minister said, although the investors remain confident in the South African economy: "The public report has shaken them a lot and they are concerned about whether South Africa will continue to support the independence of the South African Reserve Bank."

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report on Monday in which she recommended that SARB's mandate should be amended to include socio-economics considerations along with protecting the rand.

Gigaba said foreign investors were also concerned about the strength and resilience of institutions in SA, given that both the public protector and the SARB are independent institutions.

"We respect that the public protector is an independent institution but the South African Reserve Bank is also an independent institution and it is important that we do not take any steps that are going to undermine that independence," he said.

The reserve bank was already addressing socio-economic concerns, Gigaba added.

"It's not clear what context it's arising in. It's not clear what it aims to achieve", he said.

Gigaba made it clear that he was not dismissing her recommendations and still examining them.

"Once I have studied the report I will consult the legal advisers of the department to take advice on what the best way forward is," he said.

Asked what would happen if Treasury found the SARB was correct in saying that Mkhwebane's recommendations were unlawful and outside of her constitutional power, Gigabe said it would join the bank's review action.