Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) is appalled by the threatened erosion of the independence of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) in executing its mandate. It is absolutely unacceptable that no sooner than the ANC’s electoral victory on an inclusive socio-economic growth mandate, the ruling party seems to be at war with itself, threatening to collapse the economy that is already on its knees. The mixed messages from the ruling party undermine our collective effort to rebuild the economy. We share a similar outcry by the Governor of SARB, who drew an analogy to the barbarians amassing at the gate, ready to plunder the public purse. The desperation of economic sabotage will undoubtedly inhibit our collective noble efforts aimed at fighting a decade of state capture and rapacious corruption. They must be stopped! BLSA believes that the individuals who are calling for expanding the mandate of the central bank and questioning its efficiency in executing the monetary policy, undermine the collective efforts to accelerate socio-economic growth and protection of our constitutionally guaranteed institution. They represent a clear and immediate danger to our hard-fought democratic values.

This is tantamount to an economic crisis in the making and reckless in the extreme, especially in the face of a multifaceted crisis of investor confidence, persistently low growth, rising joblessness, compounded by an imminent recession and further credit downgrade by rating agencies. What this suggests is a far more insidious populist pathology within the ANC towards a high-stake game of state capture that remains at the heart of the current turmoil in some of our institutions. The primary objective of monetary policy, which is to achieve and maintain price stability in the interest of sustainable and balanced economic development and inclusive growth.

We call on all law-abiding South Africans to reject populist attempts to capture SARB. We firmly believe that this would guarantee the institutional failure, leading to societal anarchy. To paraphrase the often-quoted line, “What are we going to do this time that’s different from what we did during the terror of the last regime?”

We shall resist!