South Africa spends too much time on populism

“No one can explain what South Africa will gain from this step, or why it would justify the potential costs” of nationalising the central bank, Kganyago said. “Clearly this subject excites some passion, so we keep talking about it, but it is the wrong priority. If we are serious about South Africa’s economic performance, we need to be more focused in our agenda-setting.”

Africa’s most-industrialised economy hasn’t expanded at more than 2% annually since 2013 and fell into a recession in the second quarter. Without the appropriate reforms, growth is likely to stay muted, according to the Monetary Policy Review.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a stimulus plan to boost growth and pledged to attract $100 billion to the economy in the next five years. Since announcing this in April, China, the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit have pledged $35.5 billion. At an investment summit last week companies promised almost $20 billion.

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