New Reserve Bank Governor Announcement
18 Jul 2009
President Jacob Zuma
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan
Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni
Statement read President Zuma
Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
Welcome to this briefing on the appointment of the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.
In terms of the Constitution, the primary objective of the South African Reserve Bank is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth in the Republic. The Reserve Bank must perform its functions independently and without fear, favour or prejudice.
As the term of office of the current Governor, Mr Tito Mboweni, is due to end on the 8th August 2009, I initiated a process of consultation on the position.
I have re-appointed Mr Mboweni as Reserve Bank Governor. However he has indicated his wish to leave in November 2009 to pursue other interests.
Given the indication from Mr Mboweni, I have therefore decided to designate Ms Gill Marcus as Governor of the South African Reserve Bank with effect from the 9th of November 2009.
I wish to thank Mr Mboweni for his excellent service to the nation.
He assumed this important responsibility at a critical moment in the country’s history, as we confronted the challenges of placing our country on a path of sustained economic growth. Mr Mboweni met these challenges with foresight and resolve.
We thank him for his contribution, and trust that we shall be able to call upon his expertise, to serve the country in another capacity in future.
Ms Marcus will assume responsibility for an institution that is held in high regard in
During Mr Mboweni’s tenure, the Reserve Bank has undertaken its constitutional mandate with diligence and prudence. It has made a critical contribution to the country’s sustained economic stability and has pursued monetary policies that have fostered economic growth.
Ms Marcus has extensive knowledge of the institution she is now called upon to lead, having served as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2004. In addition, she served as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1996 to 1999. Ms Marcus has served as chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Finance. She has held a number of executive positions in the private sector.
She brings to this task qualities of proven leadership, sound judgment and integrity. We are confident that she will prove a worthy successor to Mr Mboweni.
On behalf of government and the nation, we wish her well in this important responsibility.
Journalist: Good afternoon. I just wanted to find out why it has taken The Presidency so long make this announcement given that Mr Mboweni’s contract is due to come to an end on 8 August. If you tell me why it took so long to make this announcement given that we are very close to the cut-off date
President Zuma: I am not certain in relation to what. What are we comparing the time. I mean the contract has not ended and Mr. Mboweni has been re-appointed. There was no thinking until he said after being appointed; look I would wish to leave at that time. So there is no time that has taken long time in relation to what?
Journalist: Mr. President, if the new governor can just explain whether she is going to continue with the policy of inflation targeting. And if I could just ask Mr. Mboweni to tell us where he is going?
President Zuma: so you want them to speak?
Governor Mboweni: So, first of all let’s do things properly. Let me thank the Presidency for having afforded me the opportunity to serve the country in the capacity of Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. I’ve enjoyed excellent working relationships with The Presidency, and also the National Treasury, The Minister of Finance, both the current one and the previous one and I am really grateful for this opportunity to have served. And at the same time I wish to congratulate Ms Marcus on her appointment. I think it’s a good choice, it’s a good appointment. She is not a stranger to the South African Reserve Bank or to public service. And therefore I congratulate her on her appointment. Now coming to the side issue, about what do I plan to do in future. I think I have a bit of time to go fishing. Thank you very much…
Newly-appointed Governor Marcus: Thank you Mr. President, Deputy President, Minister, Governor. Again allow me to thank you for bestowing on me this enormous honor and confidence in me to pick up on the institution, the South African Reserve Bank, on the excellent work that has been done to date by the Governor. I wish him every success. And I look forward to the period of interaction before his retirement from the (Reserve) Bank in November. It is really such an important time in the world for us to have organisational cohesion, and to work together in terms of what we need to do in the interests of the country. Karima (Journalist), I think you’ve gone fishing far too early to answer any questions of that nature. So I am sure down the line we will have many debates. But now is really just to thank everybody for the enormous confidence you’ve shown in me and the opportunity to serve
Journalist: President Zuma, you said you have consulted on the appointment. Could you please say with whom you have consulted and what the process of consultation involved? You also started off the making some comments about the mandate of the Reserve Bank which is to protect the value of the currency. Do you think there would be merit in a debate around broadening that mandate at look specifically at the employment effects of monetary policy?
President Zuma: Well of course debates are debates. They will always come on any other issue. But I think there are very firm policy of the RB which is known and being followed to far. And it is not as if there has been no debate in the past. Given the economic crisis people are asking more questions but I think we all agree that our policies have helped us as a country and cushioned the country that the impact of the economic crisis has not been so big. And part of it has been the policies which have been led by Mr Mboweni in the Reserve Bank in terms of how our monetary policy has been so there is nothing that says that is there is something to be debated. Of course, if anybody provokes a debate, we are ready to debate the issues.
With regard to consultation, of course in responding to the first question, firstly to consult the Board of Reserve Bank on the fact that I was re-appointing Mr Mboweni and then consulting with them as well. But after he (Mr. Mboweni) indicated his wish, I had to go back to the Board again, after making a decision who do I think should take over. That is the scope of the consultation.
Journalist: Mr. President just a silly question from me in the process of your consultation surely there was some kind of interests from the alliance partners about the workings or the policies of the Reserve Bank. Did you consult with them or did they lobby you in terms of the contact was concerned
President Zuma: You should have asked the question did I consult the Minister. That what I should have said I did consult… not the alliance.
I am talking about is provided by the law. How the scope the scope of consultation is. That is what has happened with regard to the appointment of the Reserve bank Governor. It does not need other consultation. Of course people could have views. That is there views and we could debate these views. But insofar as the consultation is concerned, it’s the Board, the Minister and the Governor.
Journalist: Question to Ms Marcus, if I may. Some would say Mr Mboweni had a hostile relationship with some of the unions. Some would say that on debates such as inflation targeting, he always deferred saying it was policy. That he was just implementing policy. Ms Marcus I would just like to ask you what style of leadership you intend to bring to the reserve bank?
Newly-appointed Governor Marcus: (Unclear)…You should have directed that to the President. I hope the style of leadership that I bring to the Reserve Bank is the style of leadership that I have exercised wherever I am and have been, and that is one of engagement. And in terms of that it is really at this point time, very, as I said earlier, premature to say anything beyond. I am there to listen and to learn and to see what the organisation is at this point in time and also to understand better the global environment. So the style in leadership must be in my view reflective of the principles by which I’ve operated in all the positions I have had so far. I don’t see it changing and if it does I am sure there are enough people to pull me back to earth.
President Zuma: Finally, thank you ladies and gentlemen for coming. And I must also thank once again Mr Mboweni. As I said has really led this institution in a manner of which we are all happy and comfortable. I’m certain you will meet him again after his fishing. As you can see he is still a very young man. He is still going to be around with all of us
Also I want to thank Gill Marcus for accepting our appointment. As you have heard and explained even by the Governor, she is not new in this game.
Therefore nobody is going to sing what is going to happen. Also the last question, she was there when the policy was formed. She will deal with the issues when the time comes.
Thank you very much for everyone.
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