ANC silent on NWC meeting, rand makes slow progress

The rand dropped dramatically after President Zuma appointed three finance ministers in a week.

FILE. ANC officials say no statement is being released after last night’s meeting, but it’s understood the party’s top 20 leaders did discuss the economy. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the rand and the economy try to recover from the rapid turnover at the Finance Department, the African National Congress (ANC) says it is not going to comment on what happened at the party's National Working Committee (NWC) meeting last night.

The meeting came immediately after President Jacob Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene, before replacing him with David van Rooyen, and then replacing him with Pravin Gordhan.

WATCH: _New finance minister allays fears over SA's economy _

The rand and stocks suffered as a result.

ANC officials say no statement is being released after last night's meeting, but it's understood the party's top 20 leaders did discuss the economy.

While there's been some speculation the events of the last few days could lead to demands for the president to be recalled, it seems he has too much support on the NWC for that to happen.

There'd also been speculation this meeting could have called for a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, but that now seems very unlikely.


Economists have warned South Africans to spend cautiously this month as the markets may take some time to stabilise and there's a real possibility of a recession next year.

While the markets stabilised somewhat yesterday and the rand started to strengthen, South Africa's economic situation may still be facing some challenges.

Economist Goolam Balam says, "Well… beyond the conversation at the dinner table, I'd suggest, feast lightly. 2016 is going to be another difficult year. We know that China has been slowing down for a length of time and given that it is South Africa's largest trading partner it's weighed heavily on our commodities market.

Economist Dawie Roodt says foreign and local investors will remain cautious.

"The Reserve Bank will eventually be forced to increase interest rates and that will have a negative impact on economic growth. I'm afraid the possibility of a recession next year is a very real one."

WATCH: _Markets react to musical chairs at Finance Department _

At the same time, the Reserve Bank governor has called for caution when analysing the turbulence on South African markets over the past week, saying while many traders have gone on holiday, the JSE managed to absorb the shock from Nene's firing due to its liquidity.

Lesetja Kganyago yesterday joined Gordhan for a briefing in Pretoria, where investors locally and abroad were reassured that the country will not change its fiscal policy.

Kganyago also denied he planned to convene an emergency monetary policy committee meeting due to the rand falling to record lows of R16 to the dollar.

He says while R169 billion in market capitalisation was lost, there has since been a recovery.

"The market continued to trade, which is testimony to our deep and liquidated financial markets - that they could withstand a shock."