Kganyago: The Sarb also ‘came under attack’ from state capture

But it fiercely defended its independence.
Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank. Image: Moneyweb

South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) governor Lesetja Kganyago says the central bank also ‘came under attack’ from state capture, like many other state institutions.

But that it fiercely defended its independence.

Speaking as a guest during an interactive online discussion on Wednesday, hosted by independent policy think tank the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), Kganyago conceded that several state institutions were “weakened, while some were totally gutted” by state capture.

He did not specifically name the affected institutions in responding to a question on why independence matters for key institutions like the Sarb, which was posed by webinar host and CDE executive director Ann Bernstein.

Read: ANC commits to Reserve Bank mandate, independence

Kganyago said that the independence of institutions backed by the Constitution is very important, but that the “quality of institutions matter”.

He pointed out that people who lead such “institutions of the Constitution”- such as the governor of the central bank – are “put in positions of trust”. This meant that it was “not just a case of protecting the institution” but “stepping up and defending” its mandate.

“The easiest way to weaken an institution is to install pliable individuals to lead it,” he said.

Kganyago stressed that institutions like the Sarb need to maintain their independence and be free from political interference, as these “institutions have a contract with society… as spelt out in the Constitution”.

“We need independent institutions with a clear mandate, but that are also accountable to the public,” he added, noting that Sarb’s role is to deliver price stability.

Asked by Bernstein whether state capture is over, Kganyago replied candidly: “I don’t know if it’s over… But, when it comes your way, you know it.”

He noted that for the Sarb, it was challenged by state capture when it faced pressure on the issue of its mandate around awarding banking licences, with threats to move this mandate back to the Department of Finance (National Treasury) a few years ago.

“The way in which we faced state capture was the attempted move to strip the Reserve Bank to award banking licences… But, when we saw state capture, we just shut our gates [to it],” he said.

Read: Sarb governor says will go to war to protect independence

“The attacks on the bank came in a sophisticated manner… When we saw the systematic attacks on the institution, we knew we had to defend its independence, even in court,” Kganyago added.

Asked about his view on commercial banks deciding to close the bank accounts of the Guptas, he said that this was an issue between the respective banks and their clients.

However, he pointed out that banks are also bound by the country’s laws around money laundering, as South Africa is also a signatory to international anti-money laundering conventions.

Read: Gupta money laundering cobweb



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Well done Mr Governor we salute you, I sincerely hope there is a strong succession plan in place.

Please ask Mr Governor why the banking shares go down when the JSE index goes up. To me it appears that the share buyback con gets dumped in favor of old fashioned speculation. Not that there could ever be any big brother market manipulation, not ever, no, not, not.

The Reserve Bank should not have, outside shareholders. There are approximately 700 shareholders. Many of whome are based overseas.

They did a great job in preventing state capture. But now they need to take back, ownership control of the Reserve Bank.


Yes!! Change the shareholders to beneficiaries!!! Hahahahaaaa!!

You guy’s!!

Effy my man — It is strike Thursday — You must hurry and go to the dance in the street party before they realise you are missing !!

Do you actually understand how the Reserve Bank work? These independent shareholders do not have any meaningful control over the bank nor its fiscal and monetary policies. The limit on shares held also mean that one person cannot gain meaningful shareholding of the bank.

So far I try my best to reply on your comments with some form of honest discourse, but you certainly make it difficult. Perhaps you should take a break from commenting and do some couple months of research and in depth reading regarding the workings of economics and SA’s monetary landscape.

You’re correct. Shareholding doesn’t have any effect on SARB’s policies. Even if government owned the SARB, they would have no control of policy.

But it does give shareholders Access and Perceived Control. They clearly, don’t buy the shares for the dividends or the capital gains.

There were false rumours, that a German investor owned as much as 57,5% of the SARB, using family members to bypass the restrictions. It turned out, he owned 4,5%. His shareholding has been reduced to 0,5% since. Why would he do this, unless to exert outside influence.

There are risks to having outside shareholders in the SARB and before these risks are exposed, the SARB needs to be nationalised.

Some people get off being a troll and others get paid…

@ EFF Commissar

I guess we have reached a difference of opinion. I am far more willing to accept various small independent shareholders and the small risks it may have than giving full shareholding to the government who have managed most state entities, municipalities and departments to the brink of collapse.

I will resist any and all calls to increase the control exerted by government until the government can prove that they can effectively and efficiently manage state assets in the interests of the populace and not the cadres.

So many times I wanted to comment on your posts but I refrained from doing so because I was afraid you would stop your comments altogether as at times I find your posts extremely comical. In fact if any writers of the best of British Comedy had read your posts they would have cringed with envy as they would certainly not come up with anything better.

Yet all that money still flowed out of SA to Dubai without any problems.

Sadly it still remains the loot dispenser for the ANC government.

Of course they did.

The SARB is SA’s piggy bank.

When you read authors like Stephen Goodson (A History of Central Banking) you realise that the SARB is part of the banking problem.

Not out of trouble yet. Still under attack from the EFF who believes it should be nationalised.


The whole lot loots!!! The one faction will call it state capture when caught out. Next time the other faction will do the same.

All this state capture information coming out… and yet not a single person is arrested. The reality is that no one will ever be arrested. The arrest of perpetrators is not the end game. It never was. It never will be. The ANC is not about to imprison its own elite. It doesn’t have to. They know that they uneducatable masses will vote ANC no matter what happens.

Touché …. where are the instigators of the KZN and Gauteng riots and looting in July … it’s already October and no-one has been charged, convicted and jailed, yet the economy suffered tens of billions of Rands in losses.

The whole situation here is laughable, hysterically laughable.

It’s high time we nationalised the SARB.

The EFF is frantically trying to put pressure on the Reserve Bank through their naive and ignorant fight for nationalization because this is Malema’s only “get out of jail card” after the VBS theft.

For Malema and Shivambu this fight, like the rest of their political endeavours, are for personal gain. Their supporters are a bunch of ignorant clowns in red overalls.

CIC teaches us that nationalising the SARB is the cornerstone of our economic freedom.

it is high time we defunded the EFF

Humour me here, but how exactly would you go about de-funding the EFF?

I’ll listen on the radio.

Suren, can you also get an update from Tokyo wrt the “White Spiritual Boy Trust” that SARB doesn’t want to release? I think it can solve all our problems if Kganyago makes those funds available – LOL.

Lesetja Kganyago FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

End of comments.



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