Zuma, Gordhan, Treasury urged to show unity; rand battles to recover

Earlier this week, the rand dropped to a two-month low following reports of political instability.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma during a meeting with business and labour leaders at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 May 2016. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - There have been renewed calls for President Jacob Zuma, his finance minister and National Treasury to show unity as the rand battles to recover.

Earlier this week, the rand dropped to a two -month low following reports of political instability.

The oil price has climbed to levels seen last year and the rand has been trading around two month lows.

Stanlib Chief Economist Kevin Lings says this is a bad combination for fuel prices.

"We've got the combination where the currency remains under pressure and renewed pressure and then the oil prices moving back up."

He says the country's leadership needs to show unity with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to avoid a downgrade.

"I think for South Africa, it's especially critical because of the rapid changes in the minister of finance we went through last year plus the fact that we're on the caste of credit rating downgrade."

He says higher fuel prices and a weak rand will spur on inflation, which is not good news for cash-strapped South Africans.