JOHANNESBURG, The South African Rand weakened by 1.5 per cent Wednesday after African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe announced at a media briefing in the morning that the ruling party was rallying behind President Jacob Zuma following widespread criticism of his move to drop former finance minister Pravin Gordhan from the Cabinet.
The President’s decision last Friday to remove Gordhan as finance minister had rattled markets and led to the country’s debt being downgraded to junk status by international rating agency Standards and Poors.
The Rand had firmed in early trading over mounting calls for Zuma to step down from unions, religious leaders, civil society and the opposition. However, following the announcement by the ruling party that it will not recall the president, the local currency lost ground.
It has so far lost about around 10 per cent since Gordhan was called back from a roadshow to Britain and the United States last week as he prepared to mobilise investors to invest in the country.
Subsequent to this, the president reshuffled his Cabinet and fired Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK