Gigaba questions public protector report

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba appears to have questioned why the public protector wants the Reserve Bank’s mandate to be adjusted.

“It seems to create a conundrum in that … it’s not clear what context it’s arising in. It’s not clear what it’s aimed at achieving‚” Gigaba told Power FM on Tuesday night.

Power FM posted a clip of Gigaba’s comments on its website on Wednesday and said he was speaking from London‚ where he is meeting investors.

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday released a report calling for the constitution to be amended to allow for the Reserve Bank to have a broader socioeconomic mandate.

But Gigaba said the Reserve Bank was already addressing those challenges.

“That is already being undertaken by the bank and the economic sector as a whole … The procedure being proposed leaves a bit of confusion as to how it should be pursued‚” he said in one of the clips.

Mkhwebane’s proposal forms part of a report on a bailout that the Reserve Bank granted to Bankorp‚ which was later bought by Absa‚ in the 1990s.

The report said the bailout was unlawful and blamed the government for failing to recover the money from Absa.

Mkhwebane has come in for harsh criticism‚ with some experts saying her report goes beyond her powers.

The ANC has also criticised Mkhwebane for going too far by calling for a constitutional amendment.

Both the Reserve Bank and Absa have said they will challenge the public protector’s findings in court.


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