HomeNewsS.Africa's Zuma to make "important" announcement

S.Africa's Zuma to make "important" announcement


JOHANNESBURG -South African President Jacob Zuma will make an announcement “of national importance” on Saturday at 1300 GMT, with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus, a central bank statement said on Friday.

The brief statement on the central bank’s website gave no further details, although a government source said the announcement was not related to any appointments.

It will come just two days after Zuma’s 2012 State of the Nation address in which he pledged increased infrastructure spending to quicken job creation.

The last time the Presidency called an emergency briefing was to announce the departure of Lesetja Kganyago as head of the National Treasury to take up the position of deputy governor at the Reserve Bank.

The statement had South African traders and analysts scratching their heads.

“Nobody knows what it is,” said an economist at one major international bank. “If it was about inflation targeting or something like that you would expect it to be in the budget, which is only two weeks’ time.”

The Reserve Bank, which is currently under private ownership, has grappled with shareholders it accuses of pursuing a personal agenda to make profit at the expense of the national interest.

The government said in 2010 it would amend the Reserve Bank Act to tighten rules on its shareholding and would undertake a wider review that could change it to public ownership.

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