South African Reserve Bank Names First Woman to MPC Since 2014

  • Fundi Tshazibana joins central bank as adviser from Feb. 19
  • Tshazibana won’t be part of this week’s rates deliberations

South Africa’s Reserve Bank named the first woman to the Monetary Policy Committee in more than three years, bringing the rates-setting panel to seven members.

Fundi Tshazibana will become an adviser to Governor Lesetja Kganyago and his three deputies from Feb. 19, the central bank said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. She’s the first woman to join the MPC since former Governor Gill Marcus stepped down in November 2014.

While the MPC is meeting this week to decide on interest rates and will announce its findings on Jan. 18, Tshazibana will not be part of the deliberations and will only join the next round of discussions for the March policy decision.

The Reserve Bank cuts its benchmark rate in July for the first time in five years as inflation slowed to within its 3 percent to 6 percent target band and the economy emerged from a recession, with four of the six MPC members favoring looser policy. All but three of the 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the committee will leave the rate unchanged at 6.75 percent this week.

Tshazibana is currently the alternate executive director on the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, the central bank said. Before that, she was head of the economic policy and forecasting division and a deputy director general at the National Treasury, responsible for compiling the economic outlook that informed the budget preparations. Kgangayo was head of the Treasury until 2011.

“She is a very good addition to the MPC, especially with the strong micro-economic and sectoral analysis background,” Lungisa Fuzile, a former Treasury director-general and now chief executive officer of Standard Bank Group Ltd. in South Africa, said by phone. “She is very energetic, diligent and she has a track record of applying her economic theory.”

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