Policy rate differentials in SACMA

The Southern African Common Monetary Area (SACMA) consists of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini. Even though one would expect authorities to keep their policy rates closely in line with the South African Reserve Bank’s policy rate, there have been fairly large divergences between the policy rates set by the central banks in these economies. At the moment, for example, Namibia and Eswatini’s policy rates are 50 basis points lower than South Africa’s, while Lesotho’s is 25 basis points lower.


Surprisingly, few data providers have historical central bank rates available for the SACMA countries apart from South Africa, and the rates reported are often different from what these central banks report themselves.