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Published: 11 Feb 2012
|DA: Statement by Tim Harris, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of finance, welcoming Mandela banknote (13/02/2012)|
The DA warmly welcomes the news that a series of South African Rand banknotes will bear the image of former President Nelson Mandela.
It is an appropriate commemoration of former President Mandela’s contribution to the birth of democracy in South Africa, as well as his considerable positive impact on national reconciliation.
It is regrettable, however, that such a happy announcement was made in a manner that increased uncertainty in financial and currency markets.
The press conference was announced on a trading day but scheduled for a day the market was closed, fuelling speculative rumours. Furthermore it was sold as an issue of “national importance” without the simple clarification that it would not have a material effect on monetary policy or the national accounts.
The uncertainty triggered by this announcement may have contributed to instability in both the level of the Rand and the All Share index.
The Reserve Bank Governor has apologised for the confusion, but it would have been simple to schedule the announcement in a way that would not have contributed to increased uncertainty.
In future, the Reserve Bank, the National Treasury and the Presidency need to be more sensitive to the impact scheduling decisions such as these can have on the markets.