PARLIAMENT has begun deliberating on a bill sponsored by the EFF, which aims to see the amendment of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Act in order to allow for the central bank to be nationalized.
On Wednesday, EFF welcomed the decision of the standing committee on Finance to proceed with the public hearings and submissions for the SA Reserve Bank Amendment Bill.
EFF leader Julius Malema tabled the private member’s Bill two years ago while the ANC adopted a resolution to nationalize the Reserve Bank at its Nasrec conference in 2017.
The bill seeks to discontinue private ownership of the Bank, basically legally expropriating the bank from just over 800 shareholders in order to transfer ownership and control of the bank to not less than 57 million South Africans.
In his presentation, EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu said the SARB currently had 802 shareholders, based both locally and internationally.
Shivambu told the standing committee that the shareholders, who include Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill Lewis, major financial institutions and persons living in Germany, Switzerland, Australia and other countries, do not reflect South Africa’s population.
Shivambu claims 90% of the world’s central banks are state-owned.
“There is no massive financial benefits that accrue to the current shareholders, so there will never be a sound claim for compensation,” said Shivambu.
“Currently each of the 2 million shares is R10, meaning that in total the shares issued by the SARB is R20m – meaning that no one has paid billions to gain shares, so why would you claim billions as compensation? The highest dividend each shareholder is entitled to is R1 000 per shareholder. Why would you claim billions if you were only entitled to R1 000 per year?”
While the Bill has not been certified as constitutional, parliamentary legal adviser Noluthando Mpikashe told the committees nothing prevents Parliament from processing it.
The next step is for the Bill to be published for public comment.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)