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South African Reserve Bank

Dr Johannes Postmus 


TERM SERVED IN OFFICE: 1 January 1932 – 30 June 1945
Dr Postmus started his career in 1896 with the Dutch banking institution LedeBoer & Co. in Almelo, in the province of Overijssel. He later joined the Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid-Afrika headquarters in Pretoria in 1903. In 1905 he was appointed Secretary of the Board. Five years later he was transferred to the Bank’s Inspection Division where he eventually became Chief Inspector. During his career with the Nederlandsche Bank he had a hand in the creation of Ons Eerste Volksbank. He initially served as Director of this institution but after he was appointed General Manager of the Nederlandsche Bank was elected Honorary Director.
Dr Postmus held this position until his appointment as the Reserve Bank’s Deputy Governor with effect from 1 January 1927. On 1 January 1932 he succeeded Dr William Clegg as Governor of the Bank until his retirement on 30 June 1945. In 1926, he served a term as President of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa. He was one of the Reserve Bank’s first Directors, and served as one of three representatives of the commercial banks on the Bank's Board. His first term as board member started on 9 May 1921 but ended on 30 June 1923 when the representation of commerical banks on the Board was terminated by legislation.
Part of Dr Postmus's term of office with the Bank coincided with a turbulent period in South Africa's economic history and he experienced the unfolding drama first-hand, including the vexing question surrounding the return to the Gold Standard and its eventual abandonment. In 1932 he testified before the Select Committee on the Gold Standard and in 1933 he accompanied the Minister of Finance, Adv. N C Havenga, to the World Economic Conference in London as an Advisor.

Dr Postmus was the Chairman of the Financial Committee of the University of Pretoria and in April 1946 was conferred a D.Com (honoris causa) degree by the University of Pretoria.
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