South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, appoints a new central bank chief. South Africa's economy has struggled to bounce back from the worst mining strikes on record. Melanie Ralph reports.
Only a few months back and these scenes were common place in South Africa. Mining strikes crippled their economic output. Now Africa's second largest economy has the long and arduous road to recovery. The hope is that new leadership at the central bank will boost sentiment. The rand strengthened after the appointment of Lesetja Kganyago, who is well-regarded by markets and economists. He paid tribute to his predecessor Gill Marcus after the announcement. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NEWLY APPOINTED RESERVE BANK GOVERNOR LESETJA KGANYAGO SAYING: "Like an African matriarch she had led the Reserve bank steadfastly, she has guided us through the dangerous forest that is the global economy. She knows where the drinking holes are, we had figured them and elephants don't forget." Kganyago is a staunch guardian of the independence of the central bank. South Africa's president Jacob Zuma also recognizing the difficulties Marcus had to deal with. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, SAYING: "I would like to thank Miss Marcus for her sound leadership, commitment and dedication which has enabled the bank to perform as well as it has done. Under the difficult economic climate" The Reserve Bank has increased interest rates by 75 basis points this year - tempering its concerns about rising inflation with the need to ease pressure on the struggling economy. Kganyago will take over on November 8 and chair the bank's last policy meeting of the year.