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Stals firm on monetary policy

SOUTH AFRICA'S central-bank governor ruled out a deliberate relaxation of monetary policy to help the newly re-elected African National Congress drag the country out of recession and reduce unemployment. The Reserve Bank Governor, Chris Stals (pictured), expressed concern that falling gold prices could make South Africa's jobs crisis worse.

With gold accounting for less than 3 per cent of its total economic output, a further fall in prices would have a marginal effect on overall growth rates. But the impact on South African jobs could be significant, with spill-over effects on neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Mozambique that supply labour for South African mines.