The past year has been a difficult one for the global economy. The repercussions from the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States of America (US) are still being felt in terms of continued turmoil on the international financial markets and a slowing global economy. The South African banking sector has been relatively insulated from these financial market uncertainties. Nevertheless, greater vigilance has been required in supervising and regulating the domestic banking sector and payment and settlement system. At the same time, the Bank has faced particular challenges with respect to monetary policy as significant increases in global oil and food prices, combined with strong domestic demand caused inflation to exceed the upper level of the inflation target range. In carrying out our mandate of achieving and maintaining price stability, we progressively tightened the stance of monetary policy over the past year. Internally, we have retained our focus on maintaining and improving the efficient workings of the Bank. It is in this context that I report to you today on the main operational areas of the Bank.