South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
The South African Reserve Bank is the central bank of the Republic of South Africa. The primary purpose of the Bank is to achieve and maintain price stability in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. Together with other institutions, it also plays a pivotal role in ensuring financial stability.
Owing to its unique role as a central bank, some people are under the impression that the Reserve Bank was the first banking institution to be established in South Africa. This, is not the case however. The first bank to be established in South Africa was the Lombaard Bank in Cape Town, which opened its doors for business on 23 April 1793.
The earliest proposals for the establishment of a central bank in South Africa were made as far back as 1879 - calls that were repeated for the following few years, until a select committee, consisting of the ten members of Parliament was established on 31 March 1920 to examine the practicalities of establishing a central bank.
Following on the recommendations of the committee, the South African Reserve Bank opened for business on 30 June 1921, making it the oldest central bank in Africa. The first banknotes were issued to the public by the Bank on 19 April 1922.
The primary function of the Reserve Bank is to protect the value of South Africa's currency.
In discharging this role, it takes responsibility for:
- Ensuring that the South African money, banking and financial system as a whole is sound, meets the requirements of the community and keeps abreast of international developments;
- Assisting the South African government, as well as other members of the economic community of southern Africa, with data relevant to the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policy; and
- Informing the South African community and all stakeholders abroad about monetary policy and the South African economic situation.
The Bank accepts that the credibility of its policy and actions is a prerequisite for the attainment of its goals and that such credibility can only be achieved and maintained through independent action, firmness of principle, resoluteness and fixed intent.
The Bank ensures, through the application of modern management practices and technology, that all its activities are conducted effectively and efficiently.
The Bank believes that its employees should find working for the Bank a stimulating and personally enriching experience, and consequently accepts co-responsibility for the development of each employee's full potential. Career progress is based primarily on the contribution made by the individual towards the fulfilment of the responsibilities of the Bank.
The Bank recognises that equal opportunities for all, irrespective of ethnicity, race, gender, disability or religion, should be pursued. The Bank accepts that only through the loyalty and dedication of its employees will it be able to achieve its goal and fulfil its mandate.See more