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Rand strengthens at prospect of Zuma exit

As the special NEC meeting enters its fifth hour in Irene, currencies have strengthened, with the rand earlier sitting at R11,95 to the dollar and R16,50 to the pound.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Economists say with the prospect of President Jacob Zuma leaving office, the markets have and will continue to strengthen.

As the special national executive meeting enters its fifth hour in Irene, currencies have strengthened, with the rand earlier sitting at R11,95 to the dollar and R16,50 to the pound.

Economist Thabi Leoka says it appears that investors are hoping for the best.

“It’s quite clear that the market is in support of Cyril Ramaphosa removing President Jacob Zuma. That’s why you’re not getting the volatility and jitteriness from these talks.”

Chief economist at Econometrix Azar Jammine adds: “I do believe the South African economy faces many more challenges than just the departure of President Jacob Zuma. Those who say we are entering a new era have a lot of confidence in the country under a new leadership to take the steps needed.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)