Business Insider Edition

Nhlanhla Nene personally stepped in to stop the ANC from debating Reserve Bank nationalisation in Parliament – to the party's considerable embarrassment

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA
  • Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene personally stepped in to stop the ANC from raising the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank in Parliament, the Sunday Times reported.
  • Nene was apparently worried about the fact that the Moody's ratings agency was in town.
  • The scramble to withdraw the motion left the ANC with egg on its face.


Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene intervened at an ANC political strategy meeting on Tuesday to argue that a debate on nationalising the Reserve Bank should not go before Parliament, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

Hours later the ANC withdrew a motion on the issue.

ANC insiders told the Sunday Times that other members of Parliament also backtracked on the issue – after Nene's arguments that the party should first better inform itself about central bank ownership elsewhere in the world, and that the ANC should avoid spooking foreign investors.

The ANC suddenly withdrew its motion on Tuesday for what it said was "to allow for greater consultation within structures of the African National Congress and key stakeholders".

Read the fully Sunday Times article (subscribers only): Nene 'pulled plug' on ANC's Reserve Bank vote

The ANC's elective conference in December passed a resolution that the Reserve Bank must be nationalised. That conference is the highest decision-making body within the ruling party.

On Wednesday the party issued another statement in which it simultaneously welcomed its parliamentary caucus' decision to withdraw the motion and insisted it will be tabled again.

See also: This is probably the last chance ever to become a director of the Reserve Bank before it is nationalised

"The ANC is of a firm belief that the withdrawal of the motion will deepen the content of the envisaged motion and that the postponement creates an adequate platform for the ANC to place on the agenda an instructive motion that places South Africa on the path of radical socio-economic transformation based on job creation and equitable wealth, asset and income distribution," the ANC said.

The withdrawal of the motion saw the ANC fiercely criticised by alliance partner Cosatu and – for entirely different reasons – the opposition DA.

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