South African President Plays Down Central Bank Mandate Change Talk

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa played down suggestions that an amendment to the central bank’s mandate is imminent, while confirming that a possible change remains under discussion, Bloomberg News reported. Any change to the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank, which focuses on curbing inflation, will take time, Ramaphosa, told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday. Last week Gwede Mantashe, the chairman of the ruling African National Congress, said the party had agreed at its national conference to change the mandate, prompting a decline in the value of the rand. “It requires a constitutional amendment, it’s not just a matter you embark on,” Ramaphosa said. “It’s not something that’s about to happen, it’s something that’s being debated.” South Africa’s economy is being held back by regular power cuts and the nation has one of the world’s highest unemployment rates. The Reserve Bank has repeatedly said bolstering economic growth and job creation fall outside the scope of monetary policy. Read more.