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SA warned to brace for difficult financial year

The rand slumped to a level of R17.99 against the US dollar overnight.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Experts are warning South Africans to brace for a tough financial year after the rand took a major knock followed by erratic trading on the Asian markets.

The rand slumped to a level of R17,99 against the US dollar overnight and recovered this morning to around R16,70.

Asia expert Matthew Birtch says China has competent leadership and the situation will improve.

"Many political and economic analysts believe that the head of the reserve bank in China is one of the best central bankers that exists globally. There is a struggle at the moment but a confidence internally in China as things start to take place."

Chief economist at Econometrix Azar Jammine says the rand has also been affected by the general decline of confidence in South Africa's leadership.

"That has cast doubt on the ability of the leadership to maintain fiscal discipline and there has been a loss of confidence in the ability of National Treasury to continue reflecting the kind of stability in our government finances that we have done in the past."