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Mboweni to complete his term as Governor

by Michael Appel
on 02 Sep 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni will complete his current term of office which ends in August next year and will stay on if the new government asks him to continue in his position.

Briefing the media following reports of his stepping down as governor, Mr Mboweni said: "I have been Governor of the Bank since August 1999 and I will complete my current term in August 2009.

"If asked to serve, I will."

Mr Mboweni said that over the past couple of days, a number of news reports have given the impression that he was stepping down as governor of the bank. He said he would like to set the record straight.

He explained a governor was appointed by the President of the Republic after consultation with the Finance Minister and Board of Directors. This is done in relation to section 4 (1) (a) of the South African Reserve Bank Act.

"The South African Reserve Bank Act section 5(1) stipulated that the Governor shall hold office for a period of five years. The act is silent regarding the number of terms that a governor may serve."

Mr Mboweni said the European Union Central Bank has a fixed term for the governor, but the governor of the Netherlands Central Bank can be there forever as long as he is of sound mind.

"It [would] depend on whether a person was in a position to fulfil what is required or not," he said responding to a question on how many terms were needed to fulfil his mandate.

Mr Mboweni said that despite criticism, governing the bank was a job that needed to be done.

"Governors are not in the business of popularity contests, they are there to protect the poor from high inflation," he said, adding that it was still a huge challenge.

He has remained tight-lipped on a possible successor if he is not asked to stay on under a new government.

Mr Mboweni who was Minister of Labour from May 1994 to July 1998, spent a year as Advisor to the then Governor of the Bank, Dr Chris Stals, before formally assuming the position on 20 July 1999. - BuaNews

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