Lesetja Kganygo, tenth Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, returned home to Ga-Maribane in the Moletjie area last Friday to conduct the first transaction with banknotes bearing his signature.
Kganyago used one each of the South African banknotes to buy his father groceries to the value of R380 from Makgohloane General Trading where he also used to shop as a boy. He purchased 50 kg mealie meal, 2 litres cooking oil, 2 litres fresh milk,
2,5 kg sugar, 500 g margarine, 270 g peanut butter and a loaf of bread.
Kganyago explained that he chose to conduct the session in his home village to bring the South African Reserve Bank closer to the people. “The way in which ordinary people interact with the South African Reserve Bank and feel that they are closest to the bank, is when they withdraw money, when they hold the notes and coins. It takes a village to raise a child and with this gesture I was just showing gratitude to the community of Ga-Maribane for the role they played in my development. I made use of this shop when I was a young boy. I remember the time when a loaf of bread cost only 10c and now it costs about R9. I would wake up early in the morning and knock at the house for them to sell me a fresh bread. Sometimes I would find the bakery truck had not arrived but I would wait at the gate until it arrived. This shop was good to me and that is why I decided to conduct the first transaction of the banknotes bearing my signature here,” Kganyago said during a welcome ceremony at Mokgohloane General Trading.
Kganyago took over as Governor from Gill Marcus in October last year after serving as her deputy for three years.
He has come a long way from the school boy who attended classes under a tree at Maloshe Primary School because there was only a single block of classes in his time.
“Those were the days. It was hard but we soldiered on and I am what I am today because of those hardships. My message to the youth is that they should use education to overcome all the challenges. I schooled under a tree, it was tough but I was never despondent. I was naughty just like any other boy, but I focused on my studies,” Kganyago said
Jerida Makweya, a local educator who taught Kganyago in Sub B related that he was an intelligent learner and full of life. “He was one of the brightest learners in the school and I am proud to have taught a learner like him,” Makweya said.
Kganyago’s father, Christopher Kganyago said he was honoured by his son for making him proud and being good example to the youth and the people of Ga-Maribane.
“When he was growing up he was just like any other boy but he loved school and he was dedicated. He has done the family and the community proud,” Christopher said.
Kganyago joined the public service in 1996. He began at the National Treasury before his promotion to the position of director-general in 2004. He was appointed Governor of South African Reserve Bank in November 2014. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Board Risk Committee, the Governors Executive Committee, Monetary Police Committee, Financial Stability Committee and the Risk Management Committee.
He has represented South Africa in international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G-20 Summit and the African Development Bank. He serves as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on the Revision of the Banks Act.
He serves as also Vice-Chair of the Financial Service Board (FSB) Standing Committee on Standard Implementation and chairs the FSB Regional Consultative Group for Sub- Saharan Africa. He holds an MSc in Economics from London University‘s School for Oriental and Asian Studies and a BCom Degree in Economics and Accounting from the University of South Africa (Unisa). He has also received training in Finance, Economics and Management through Harvard and Wits University.
Kganyago is the second son of Limpopo soil to head the South African Reserve Bank. Tito Mboweni, who hails from Tzaneen, served as eighth governor from 1999 until 2009.