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South Africa not to nationalize banks

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Staff Writer | April 19, 2017
Christopher Malikane
Africa   Not government policy

The South African government will not nationalize banks as proposed by an adviser to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, the Finance Ministry said.

"The nationalization of banks is not government policy," the ministry said in a statement.

Christopher Malikane, an adviser to Gigaba, advocated the state takeover of banks, mines and insurance companies in an editorial published by Sunday Times on April 16, two weeks after President Jacob Zuma ousted Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle.

The reshuffle shocked investors and led international rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch to downgrade South Africa's credit rating to junk status.

In an opinion piece titled "Our chance to complete the revolution," Malikane, an economics professor at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand, also proposed the establishment of a state bank that would combine all government-owned financial institutions, the nationalization of the South African Reserve Bank and the expropriation of land without compensation to the owners.

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