Reappointment of Kuben Naidoo ensures continuity
Kuben Naidoo has been reappointed as a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank for a second term, a move praised for ensuring stability and continuity at a time of unprecedented crisis for the economy.
In addition to his role as deputy governor and member of the interest rate setting monetary policy committee (MPC), Naidoo was also retained as CEO of the Prudential Authority, which is responsible for regulating the country’s financial institutions.
The Bank’s announcement on Wednesday that Naidoo will start a second five-year term on April 1 comes as global and local financial markets have been thrust into turmoil by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s an excellent appointment that helps ensure stability and continuity,” said Jannie Rossouw, interim head of Wits Business School and a former official at the central bank.
The appointment has come during a tumultuous period for local markets, with the Bank taking aggressive steps to ease the pressure in the financial system, including a 100-basis-point cut in the repo rate last Thursday — the first cut of this magnitude in more than a decade.
It also stepped up measures to improve liquidity and said on Wednesday that it would buy government bonds in the secondary market.
Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago and the three deputies constitute the executive management of the Bank. The governor and deputies are appointed by the president, after consultations with the minister of finance and the Bank’s board of directors.
The Prudential Authority is responsible for regulating the banking system, insurance companies, financial conglomerates and certain market infrastructures. It came into being with the launch of the “twin peaks” model of regulation, which was implemented to reform oversight of the financial sector.
Naidoo — who was essential to the Prudential Authority’s establishment in his former role as the registrar of banks — will begin his second term as its CEO on April 1.
In recent days the Bank has been in discussions with SA’s largest lenders over the resilience of the financial system, with a number of large banks announcing measures such as repayment holidays for small business and student loans to aid them through the Covid-19 crisis.
Naidoo’s reappointment follows the promotion of Fundi Tshazibana, formerly an adviser to the governors, and Rashad Cassim, who previously headed the research department, as deputy governors in July 2019.
Daniel Mminele left the Bank after his second term as deputy governor ended in June 2019 and was appointed Absa CEO in January.
Naidoo has previously served