Lesetja Kganyago: Balanced and sustainable growth - the role and mandate of the SARB

Lecture by Mr Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, at the University of South Africa (Unisa) Graduate School of Business, Pretoria, 30 August 2017.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. 

The mandate and role of central banks is a hotly debated topic in many countries around the world. In South Africa, we tend to engage in this debate through rhetoric rather than facts. In our article published on 2 July, we set the basis for a more informed discussion. I would like to open the next chapter in that dialogue tonight.

Let me start by asking: why does our money have value? Why can you exchange it for goods and services? The money is not backed by silver or gold or platinum. It is not backed by land. It is not pegged to another currency, such as the dollar or the pound. It works because of trust - trust in a promise made in the Constitution, which gives the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) a very specific job: "to protect  the value of the currency in the interests of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic."