SARB Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo resigns

Kuben Naidoo, a deputy governor at the South African Reserve Bank, had tendered his resignation almost 18 months before his second five-year term was due to end.

A departure date has still to be decided on, Naidoo said in a text message to Bloomberg.

“Naidoo has expressed a desire to resign,” Vincent Magwenya, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman, said in a separate text message. “The matter is still under consideration.”

The rand held a gain of about 0.5% against the dollar, and bond yields were unmoved.

The announcement comes a month before the central bank’s monetary policy committee is due to announce its final interest rate decision for the year.

Naidoo’s departure would leave the panel with only four members if no one new is named to the MPC before it next meets Nov. 21-23, leaving Governor Lesetja Kganyago with the deciding vote in case of a tie.

The central bank has held rates steady at 8.25% at its last two meetings after tightening policy by a cumulative 475 basis points since November 2021 to anchor inflation around the midpoint of its 3% to 6% target range. Annual inflation accelerated to 5.4% in September from 4.8% a month earlier.

Naidoo’s current term was due to end on March 31, 2025. He joined the central bank as an adviser to then-Governor Gill Marcus in 2013, was appointed deputy governor two years later, and oversaw the financial stability and currency cluster in his present role.

“Naidoo is very much respected in policy circles and will be missed,” Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, said. “Until a reason is given for his departure, it is likely to create some uncertainty.”

He previously headed the National Planning Commission in the Presidency and the budget office at the National Treasury. Naidoo spent two years at the UK Treasury working on capital budgets and biannual spending review.

He holds a bachelor of science degree, a post-graduate diploma in public management from the University of the Witwatersrand and a master of business administration from the University of Birmingham.

Naidoo wrote some of his final school exams in jail after he was arrested for organizing a student demonstration against White minority rule in South Africa in the late 1980s.


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