Gill Marcus

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Gill Marcus
Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
In office
November 2009 – November 2014
Preceded byTito Mboweni
Succeeded byLesetja Kganyago
Personal details
Born (1949-08-10) 10 August 1949 (age 70)
Johannesburg, Union of South Africa
Alma materUniversity of South Africa

Gill Marcus (born 10 August 1949) is a former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, being the ninth person and the first and only woman to hold the position.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Marcus was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.[2][3] Her grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania; both of her parents were born in South Africa.[4]


Both her parents were anti-apartheid activists and members of the South African Communist Party (SACP). They went into exile in 1969, together with Gill, her two sisters and brother. She completed her degree by correspondence with the University of South Africa, with a BComm in Industrial Psychology in 1976.[2][3][5] She joined the SACP and the African National Congress (ANC) in 1970 and began working for the exiled ANC's Department of Information and Publicity (DIP) in London, later becoming the DIP's deputy secretary.


Marcus returned to South Africa in 1990 after the ANC was unbanned.[6] She established the ANC's Information Department in 1990.

Politician and central banker[edit]

She was elected a Member of Parliament in 1994 and became Deputy Minister of Finance in the Government of National Unity of Nelson Mandela from 1996 to 1999, serving under Trevor Manuel.[7] In 1999 she became Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank under Tito Mboweni. She held the post for five years but left due to a personality clash with Mboweni.[3][8]

She then held the Professorship of Leadership and Gender Studies at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, before going into business, initially as chairman of Western Areas mining company and later as non-executive director of Gold Fields. In 2007 she succeeded Danie Cronjé as chair of Absa Group and Absa Bank.[3]

In July 2009, President Jacob Zuma announced that she would return to the Reserve Bank to succeed Mboweni as Governor. The appointment was welcomed by both economists and trade unionists.[9]

She stepped down at the end of her five-year term in November 2014.[10]


  1. ^ "Gill Marcus appointment widely welcomed". SAPA. 20 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Profile: Ms Gill Marcus". Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Hamlyn, Michael (20 July 2009). "Meet Gill Marcus". News24.
  4. ^ Shain, Milton; Pimstone, Miriam. "Gill Marcus". Jewish Women's Archive.
  5. ^ Illustrious alumni,
  6. ^ Mbeki, Thabo (30 April 1999). "Statement by acting president Thabo Mbeki on the appointment of Gill Marcus to the Reserve Bank". Office of the President. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Statement of President Nelson Mandela at the National Assembly". South African Government Information. 28 March 1996. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Marcus returns to replace Mboweni". The Times. 20 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Gill Marcus new Governor of S Africa's Reserve Bank". Yahoo. 19 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Rand dips as Marcus quits". Times Live. Retrieved 3 January 2015.