The United Democratic Movement (UDM) notes the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) decision to keep interest rates unchanged.

We however believe that the SARB should be mandated to do more to act in the interest of South Africans, and this country’s economy. The mandate of the central bank must align better with the work and aims of government.

The SARB’s primary object to “protect the value of the currency” should not be its only focus. It must have a secondary mandate, which is that of socio-economic development.

The policy is outdated and has become a blunt instrument that only considers inflation as a yardstick. It is the poor and the working class whose livelihoods and asset bases that are being destroyed by the implementation of this policy.

Tragically, when Covid-19 hit our shores and South Africans were afforded payment holidays for a few short months on certain big expenses; it was a short reprieve that caught up with them as soon as banks hit them with catch-up costs. However, as an example illustrating the opposite, after recent shock rate increases in mid-2023 in the United Kingdom, they entered into a “mortgage-charter” which allows for a twelve-month grace period before homes are repossessed, to assist struggling homeowners. The UDM proposed such a mortgage-charter to Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, five months ago but our call fell on deaf ears.

Issued by:
United Democratic Movement National Office
Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP
UDM Deputy President