The G-20 consists of 20 systemically important countries and the European Union. The forum was formed in 1999, after the Asian crises, and South Africa has been a member of the forum since its inception. Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet a few times a year to discuss global economic, financial markets and financial stability issues, as well as risks to the global economy. Since 2008, when G-20 Heads of State convened to discuss the global financial crisis, as well as the actions and strategies needed to facilitate the exit from the crisis, the G-20 has become the world’s premier global economic and financial forum. As an active participant in the forum, South Africa has played a vital role in a number of key areas in these discussions, including the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), financial regulation and supervision, financial inclusion and, more recently, development.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
South Africa was a founding member of the IMF at its inception in 1944. The major functions of the IMF include surveillance of the global economy and of member countries, providing liquidity to countries that may experience balance-of-payments problems, and technical assistance to countries on request. The Reserve Bank participates in the biennial meetings of the IMF as well as in various IMF initiatives to enhance IMF surveillance. This includes the IMF’s financial sector programmes.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
The BIS is an international organisation which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation. It also serves as a bank for central banks. South Africa is a shareholder of the BIS and the Reserve Bank is an active participant in the bi-monthly meetings of Governors. These meetings aim to promote discussion and policy analysis among central banks. The Bank is also a member of various BIS committees which monitor, and develop policy on, central bank activities. Currently, the South African reserve Bank serves on the following Committees: the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems, the Irving Fisher Committee on Statistics, the Internal Audit Committee and the Central Bank Governance Network. The South African Reserve Bank joined the BIS in June 1971.
Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
The creation of the CCBG in SADC was approved by the SADC Council in August 1995. The main reason for the establishment of the CCBG was the need for a specialised body in SADC to promote, and achieve, closer co operation among central banks within the Community.
The CCBG deals with, among other things, the development of well managed financial institutions and markets, closer cooperation among central banks in the areas of monetary policy and monetary policy instruments, bank supervision, money and capital markets, payment, clearing and settlement systems and training.
Since its inception, the Governor of the Reserve Bank has acted as Chairperson of the CCBG. A Secretariat for the CCBG, hosted by the South African Reserve Bank, was created in November 1995. The CCBG plays a crucial role in particular, in the promotion of financial and economic development, by way of pursuing policies that enhance financial and macroeconomic stability.