The South African Reserve Bank is the central bank of the Republic of South Africa. The Bank was established in 1921 in terms of a special Act of Parliament, the Currency and Bank Act of 10 August 1920 (the Act) and was the direct result of the abnormal monetary and financial conditions which had arisen during and in the period immediately following World War I.
The South African Reserve Bank is convinced that it is essential that South Africa has a growing economy based on the principles of a market system, private and social initiative, effective competition and social fairness. It recognises, in the performance of its duties, the need to pursue balanced economic development and growth.
The Reserve Bank is responsible for bank regulation and supervision in South Africa. The purpose is to achieve a sound, efficient banking system in the interest of the depositors of banks and the economy as a whole. This function is performed by issuing banking licences to banking institutions, and monitoring their activities in terms of either the Banks Act, 1990 (Act No. 94 of 1990), or the Mutual Banks Act, 1993 (Act No. 124 of 1993).