South Africa’s opposition EFF introduces bill to nationalise central bank

Malema Julius

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The leader of South Africa’s far-left Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, has introduced a bill to nationalise the central bank, parliament said late on Thursday.

The South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill would “make the state the sole holder of the shares in the bank” and “provide for the appointment of certain board directors by the (finance) minister”, according to a copy of the bill posted on parliament’s website.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) resolved at a party conference in December to move to full state ownership of the bank, saying the current ownership structure was a “historical anomaly”.

But the ANC in March withdrew a parliament motion to debate the issue to allow for more consultation within the party and with important stakeholders.

The central bank has said any change of ownership would not affect its mandate or independence.

Unlike most central banks, the South Africa’s has been privately owned since it was established in 1921.

But its shareholders have no control over monetary policy, financial stability policy or banking regulation.