Reserve Bank Governor: Turning things around shouldn’t be a problem


Despite the many challenges currently facing the economy, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago says that turning things around should not be a problem.

Kganyago says that it should not be a problem as good ideas have been brought forward to address these challenges.

"We have good ideas for addressing these problems, but regulatory and policy uncertainty, as well as corruption and a lack of direction in some areas, have all sapped consumer and investor confidence and weakened private-sector investment,” Kganyago told the fifth SA Tomorrow Investor Conference being held in New York.

"It should not be a difficult task to turn things around. Setting out some investment-friendly ambitions for the economy and reducing political uncertainty would go a long way towards boosting confidence. As is often said, raising confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus," he said.

Kganyago while admitting that there were a number of concerns, encouraged delegates to look at the positives, rather than just focusing on the negatives, which is what many are doing at the moment.

Among the positives the Reserve Bank Governor pointed out included a reduced current account deficit, making the rand more resilient to risks; and moderate inflation which has eased pressure on monetary policy somewhat.

"Given our enhanced focus on keeping inflation expectations low, this could extend well into the future," he said.

Kganyago reiterated that the Reserve Bank would continue to focus on its constitutional mandate to ensure price stability, saying it was the best contribution the bank could make to the country's economy.

"This stability in our approach to monetary policy can contribute to better long-term inflation outcomes and therefore a more favourable environment for investment. In conjunction with appropriate structural and confidence-boosting policies, there is no reason why we cannot get investment and growth going again and make South Africa an investment destination of choice once more," he said.