Question NW2333 to the Minister of Finance

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03 July 2015 - NW2333

Profile picture: McLoughlin, Mr AR

McLoughlin, Mr AR to ask the Minister of Finance

(1) (a) What is the total value of South Africa’s current gold reserves, quoted in US dollars, and (b) what proportion of South Africa’s gold reserves is (i) stored in South Africa and (ii) located offshore; (2) (a) where are the local gold reserves held and (b) when last was a stock check of the locally held gold reserves undertaken; (3) (a) where are the reserves kept which are held offshore and (b) what percentage share of the reserves is held at each respective location; (4) (a) when last (i) were the gold reserves held offshore inspected and (ii) was an accurate stock take undertaken and (b)(i) who conducted such an inspection, (ii) to whom do they report and (iii) where can a copy thereof be obtained; (5) has any portion of South Africa’s gold reserve ever been found to be missing or unaccounted for; if so, what steps have been taken to ascertain the whereabouts of said reserves?


1 (a) The value of the official gold reserves as at 31 May 2015 was US$4.8 billion, which is approximately 4 million fine ounces.

1 (b) The SARB holds a large percentage of South Africa’s gold reserves in vaults of official sector institutions at offshore bullion centres, while a smaller amount is held locally. It is operationally efficient to store gold at offshore bullion centres should the need arise to conduct gold transactions. The exact percentage allocation is not made public.

2 (a) Gold reserves held locally are held at Rand Refinery Proprietary Limited (Rand Refinery), the South African Mint Company (RF) Proprietary Limited (SA Mint), and various branches of the SARB, including its head office.

2 (b) The SARB performs regular reconciliations on reports based on gold held at various local locations. An audit of locally held gold reserves is also conducted annually.

3 (a) Most of South Africa’s gold reserves are kept at secure offshore bullion centres, in vaults of official sector institutions.

3 (b) The exact percentage allocation is not made public.

4 (a) Senior SARB officials conduct due diligence visits to inspect gold reserves held offshore on a regular basis. The last due diligence visit was conducted during 2014.

4 (b) The report on each due diligence visit is forwarded to the executive of the SARB. As these reports contain confidential information, they are not publically available.

5 No.

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