Nenegate wasn’t sole cause of PIC’s R99bn loss, insists Zuma

President Jacob Zuma was responding in a written reply to a parliamentary question from DA.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma says his axing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene wasn't the only reason the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) lost R99 billion over two days in December last year.

The PIC manages assets of more than R1 trillion and the Government Employees' Pension Fund (GEPF) is its biggest client.

Zuma was responding in a written reply to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA's David Maynier wanted to know whether President Zuma's claim that markets overreacted and that the impact of his decision was exaggerated was accurate, given the losses suffered by the PIC.

In his response, Zuma refers to "speculative attacks" on the currency and says global, as well as domestic events were already hitting the rand.

Zuma says economic shocks included oil prices, figures from China and United States interest rates; while at home, South Africa's ratings downgrade and the changing of ministers of Finance also impacted on the currency.

Zuma says the rand recovered to pre-December 9 levels within three days, and that while the PIC lost R99 billion, this was soon recovered as the currency stabilised.