The re-appointment of Lesetja Kganyago as governor of the central bank shows the government's clear commitment to the institution's independence, responsible monetary policy and a stable financial system and currency, the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) has said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced the re-appointment of Kganyago to head the South African Reserve Bank and the appointment of Nomfundo Tshazibana and Dr Rashad Cassim as deputy governors for a five-year term each.
The central bank has recently been at the centre of renewed debate about its independence and inflation targeting mandate, which critics say it has pursued at the expense of economic growth.
BASA said Kganyago had led a "resolute defence of the independence of the Reserve Bank (and) overseen the introduction of the ‘Twin Peaks’ system of banking regulation – designed to strengthen the stability of the financial system and ensure that its customers are treated fairly".
It said he had also managed a responsive monetary policy during a time of fiscal irresponsibility and showed the kind of experienced and mature leadership necessary as South Africa tried to find its way out of its current economic crisis.
The appointment of Tshazibana and Cassim, both experienced central bank officials, as deputy governors maintained and strengthened a leadership team that had steered the bank and the country through difficult economic and political times, the banking association added.
It however reiterated that a responsible monetary policy on its own was not a sufficient condition to achieve the inclusive economic growth necessary to overcome a persistently high unemployment rate, poverty and inequality.
"We hope that the appointment of this team is a signal that government is finally acting decisively on a range of economic challenges, including reducing public expenditure, fixing state-owned enterprises, and improving the ease of doing business and investing in the country," said BASA.
The appointment of a temporary board at the Public Investment Corporation, the custodian of the savings and investments of public servants, was an indication that this might well be the case, it added.