Why Talk Of ‘Ejecting’ Zuma Is Boosting South Africa’s Rand

Jacob Zuma Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s rand gained on Friday after opposition leaders piled pressure on President Jacob Zuma to explain the influence his family friends the Gupta’s have over some of the decisions he has made, including appointment of ministers.

The rand has depreciated considerably against major currencies since last year as investors shy away from Africa’s second largest economy.

Analysts have said that a decline in Zuma’s rule will help reduce the undue political influence that has been blamed for the woes facing the rand.

The rand has gained since deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas revealed that the Guptas had personally offered to have him appointed as Finance Minister when Nhlanhla Nene was sacked in December.

Jona allegations have rocked the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), with Matthews Phosa, a former ANC treasurer urging the party to discuss the president’s future.

Warrick Butler, head of emerging-market spot trading at Standard Bank told Bloomberg the revelations had helped the rand gain some ground after a dip following US job data release.

“The latest comments from Matthews Phosa plus the realization that we may be seeing the terminal decline of the president is possibly driving the rand” Butler said.

The opposition has further urged the country’s High Court to reinstate graft charges against Zuma and had a motion of no-confidence in his rule defeated in parliament by the ruling party earlier in March.

Political scandals that have rocked South Africa in recent months are partly to blame for the weakening of the rand.

10_rand_2012

The rand’s recent decline started in December, after Zuma fired then Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, a period now remembered as the nation’s ‘9-12’ when the rand slid dramatically.

The debacles have made it nearly impossible for current Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, to implement austerity measures that he announced a February budget reading.

Parties opposed to the measures have said that they may scare away potential investors.

Zuma has not declared his public support for the minister and had to be pushed by an opposition legislator in Parliament on Thursday to declare his stand on the matter, Times Live reported.

Source: AFK insider