ANC should stop being fearful and indecisive on SARB – COSATU

Federation hopes that the ruling party is not succumbing to pressure of ratings agencies

The ANC should stop being fearful and indecisive on the Reserve Bank mandate

6 March 2018

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with disappointment the decision by the ANC in Parliament to withdraw its motion to debate the mandate of the Reserve Bank. What is even more bizarre is their reason for withdrawal; they argue that they still want to consult their structures. This is a Conference resolution and all the structures of the ANC were represented, when the resolution was taken.

It starting to dawn now that despite the changes that have happened in the Nasrec 54th National Conference; we are still seeing the same a pattern of indecisiveness and even retreat from some on the mandates, especially on the budget and interest rates.

It is obviously clear that the same macroeconomic policy framework that was applied before will continue to be used, despite the rhetoric about the centrality of job creation and the transformation of the economy.

We hope that the ANC is not succumbing to the pressure of ratings agencies that have been berating it for years or the so called investors, who are not interested in transforming the economy of this country. Foreign Direct Investment is not a panacea for all of our economic problems.

Currently ,the Reserve Bank is only notionally independent as it generally subscribes to the dominant and conventional economic policy dogma, which is the failing policies received from finance capital – even at the expense of real producers of wealth in mining and manufacturing. The SARB is captive to the narrow interests of the rentier financial capitalists, some of whom are its shareholders – a reality that renders the notion of its independence preposterous. 

COSATU continues to argue for a Reserve Bank mandate that incorporates both the developmental imperatives and also protects the currency. We acknowledge that price stability is important even from a point of view of radical socioeconomic transformation – as long as we currently depend on capitalists for job-creation and growth. These are mutually reinforcing rather than contradictory.

The ANC should understand that after 25 years of failed policies, there is nowhere to hide. The mandate of the American and other global-north countries includes employment creation. The NGP that has been virtually replaced by the Neoliberal NDP has called for a loose monetary policy but a tighter fiscal policy in order to create 5 million jobs. We hope that the ANC will recover it fortitude and realize that people are running out of patience and it is also running out of time.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 6 March 2018